ISSN 1470-8108 Issue 61 Winter 2005-06

Contents:

1. Shameful U-Turn by HSC
2. Judicial Threat to Mesothelioma Claimants
2. Lung Cancer Precedents?

Editorial

It seems that progress on protecting society from the asbestos hazard is rarely permanent. The lack of funding for regulatory bodies and the greed of asbestos stakeholders and UK plc combine to create a climate in which short-cuts can become law and victims continue to be disadvantaged. At the same time as the government is proposing to delicense work with asbestos coatings, the existence of a successful fast-track system for processing mesothelioma claims is threatened. While these actions are, apparently, unconnected the former will increase the number of future victims while the latter will relegate the legal actions for their injuries to courts unused to dealing with such complex litigation. As we await the result in the pleural plaque appeal, the disposition of the case of Beryl Badger vs. the Ministry of Defence (MOD) reveals aggressive and deplorable behaviour by the defendant which initially demanded a 2/3 reduction in damages due to Mr. Badger's smoking habit!

For 21 years, the London Hazards Centre (LHC) has been at the forefront of the campaign to protect Londoners from asbestos hazards; it has lobbied for more stringent regulations and protested incidents of hazardous exposure and the victimization of those who raised the alarm about these incidents. The LHC has produced and distributed a range of information on asbestos in domestic and commercial properties and has taken part in many campaigns, including those against the Compensation Recovery Unit's clawback of benefits from asbestos victims and Cape plc's treatment of South African asbestos victims. Recently, it has helped establish a new group, the Barking and Dagenham Asbestos Victims' Group. Unfortunately, changes being implemented by the Association of London Government, the LHC's main source of funding, could force the center to close. If you wish to learn more about this threat or how you can help the LHC continue its vital work, please visit its website at: www.lhc.org.uk. With the adverse developments documented in this issue of the newsletter, the LHC is more needed than ever.

1. Shameful U-Turn by HSC

One hundred years after the first death from occupational exposure to asbestos was reported to Parliament by Dr. Montague Murray,1 the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) is proposing changes to asbestos regulations which could prolong the epidemic of ill-health and death. Robin Howie, an industrial hygienist and former President of the British Occupational Hygiene Society, believes that the total number of UK asbestos-induced deaths for the period 1929-2020 could reach 663,000-820,000. Although Britain was the first country to introduce legislation to minimize harmful occupational asbestos exposures (1931), it took another 68 years before the use of asbestos was banned. This was just the first step in coming to terms with the country's asbestos legacy; millions of tonnes of asbestos-containing products remain hidden throughout the country's infrastructure. Making the corporate management of asbestos a statutory priority was one of the principal aims of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 (CAWR 2002); regulation 4, which came into force on May 21, 2004, assigned responsibility for managing asbestos in up to half a million non-domestic premises to property owners, landlords, building and maintenance mangers, licensees, tenants and employers. To prevent avoidable exposures, the CAWR 2002 introduced mandatory techniques, including asbestos building surveys and asbestos management plans.2

Whilst the CAWR 2002 signified a determination to make safety a priority, the relaxation of asbestos regulations suggested in consultative document Proposals for Revised Asbestos Regulations and an Approved Code of Practice (CD 205),3 has led to widespread condemnation and accusations that the HSC is more interested in cost-cutting than in ending the national asbestos epidemic. CD 205, which was published on November 3, 2005, allowed a scant three months, including the Christmas break, for consultation.4 Giles Denham, HSE5 Policy Programme Director, claimed that the proposals would “improve standards of protection for about 9,000 asbestos removal workers in the licensed sector and 1.3 million repair and maintenance workers who may be exposed.”6 The lowering of the control limit of airborne asbestos fibers from 0.2f/ml for amphiboles and 0.3f/ml for chrysotile to 0.1 f/cm3 (equivalent to 0.1f/ml) for all types of asbestos, measured over four hours, is welcome; however, the use of the concept of “sporadic and low intensity exposure to asbestos” to justify the delicensing of some types of hazardous work is reprehensible. Dr. Nancy Tait of the Occupational and Environmental Diseases Association says:

“Sporadic and low intensity described the exposure recognised by DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) as responsible for many mesotheliomas. The HSE has in the past been of the same opinion and in 1995 published Asbestos Alert and Asbestos Dust: The Hidden Killer. Both warn that asbestos can be found in some decorative plaster finishes and both warn of Asbestos, the hidden killer.”

In a letter she wrote to the HSE's Asbestos Policy Team, Dr. Tait said: “Our workforce and community need more protection, not more exposure to asbestos, however slight.” Tony O'Brien of the Construction Safety Campaign, which represents some of the workers most at-risk of asbestos exposure, is also critical of the proposals, which will:

“enable employers (to) get away with less safety controls being operated7… Add to this the reality of what takes place at the workplace then more deaths will occur… The move by the HSE to more of a 'risk based approach' is a cover for the increased employer self-monitoring direction being promoted by the HSE.”

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), which believes that there is no “safe” or “acceptable” level of exposure to asbestos, feels that reliance on the concept of “sporadic and low intensity exposure to asbestos” will inevitably lead to more tragedy:

“Given the risk of a fatal disease, even at low exposure, the nature of the (maintenance and construction) industry and the low levels of general enforcement outside of the licensing regime, it would be irresponsible to exclude all sporadic and short term exposure work.

The HSE should be committed to increasing protection, yet for some groups this proposal would decrease the level of protection they currently enjoy.”8

In its response to CD 205, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) states:

“the HSC have failed (to) make further improvements in worker protection through the regulatory regime and is indeed proposing a lowering of standards and a decrease in the level of protection in certain areas. The CWU is particularly concerned over the adoption of new 'sporadic and low intensity worker exposure' and 'short term exposure limits,' and the impact that will have on some workers and activities…

Given the lethal nature of asbestos, the huge quantities still in place, and the number of people likely to be exposed, even at a 'sporadic' level or for a 'short term,' any reduction in protection will lead to an even greater number of people developing mesothelioma. We believe therefore that this is a very short-sighted measure.”

The Transport and General Workers' Union and the construction union UCATT are also seriously concerned at the possible reduction in safety standards.

The adoption of a risk-based approach by the HSE will result in the deregulation of work with textured decorative coatings such as Artex, the asbestos content of which can be as high as 5% by weight; previously, only a licensed contractor acting within defined parameters was permitted to work with this type of material.9 There is, so the HSE alleges, a scientific basis for the delicensing:

“Risks from these materials are much lower than previously thought: estimated to be 1000 times less than that for other licensable materials, and lower than that from work with asbestos cement which doesn't require a license.”

Unfortunately, the research carried out by the Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL),10 which underpins the above statement, is fatally flawed. According to Robin Howie, the research was not carried out under realistic conditions and the findings do not reflect the levels of exposure which would be encountered in the real world. The removal of the asbestos-containing textured decorative coatings was carried out by operatives working for licensed contractors in asbestos enclosures fitted with negative pressure extraction units; the presence of trained observers and the use of skilled operatives using state-of-the-art equipment did not produce results which would be replicated by untrained personnel employed by unlicensed contractors, working unobserved and without sophisticated equipment. Furthermore, Howie pointed out, whilst the HSL researchers measured exposure levels experienced by the removal operatives inside the enclosures, they did not measure the airborne asbestos fiber concentrations experienced by unprotected adults and/or children living in the homes where the work had been carried out.11 Concluding his paper, Howie wrote:

“It is considered that unless it can be demonstrated that exposures to asbestos of residents resulting from the removal of textured coating from domestic premises can be reliably maintained below about 0.00004 fibres/ml of chrysotile, the stringency of controls applied to the removal of textured coatings should be increased rather than decreased as proposed by HSC (2005).”12

It is of more than passing interest to note that the HSL study was jointly commissioned by the Association of British Insurers, a body that is assiduously working to reduce its members' asbestos-related liabilities.

Politicians and industry representatives have registered their objections to the HSE's proposals. Nearly 100 Members of Parliament agree that the delicensing of textured coatings will “put workers, home owners and families at risk,” and expressed their concerns in Early Day Motion 1224.13 The Parliamentarians called for a proper evaluation of the risks associated with this material and for the HSE's research methodology to be reviewed. ARCA, a non-profit trade association representing asbestos removal contractors, agrees that the deskilling of such hazardous activities will jeopardize safety:

“The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have taken the opportunity presented by new proposals from Brussels14 intended to increase worker protection from asbestos to relax UK laws… By removing the HSE's duty to supervise and enforce standards relating to the removal of textured coatings, the HSE has found a way to reduce its workload…

How is this worker protection? The proposals are based on inadequate research. The main concern appears to be cost cutting rather than protecting workers and families. Contractors without qualifications, supervision or insurance should not remove these materials.”15

A 2005 paper co-authored by Damien McElvenny from the HSE's Epidemiology and Medical Statistics Unit details the increasing incidence of asbestos cancer from secondary exposure, such as that experienced by plumbers, gas fitters, carpenters and electricians.16 Should textured coatings be excluded from the licensing regime, it is likely that more deaths will occur amongst the minimum-wage workers handling these materials. The public will be at risk both from the asbestos fibers liberated by inappropriate removal procedures and the illegal dumping of contaminated waste by unlicensed contractors. According to the Environment Agency, someone fly-tips in England and Wales every 35 seconds; this equates to 70,000 incidents a month. Following the introduction, in July 2004, of more stringent regulations for the disposal of waste in England and Wales, the number of specialist landfill sites which accepted asbestos waste fell dramatically and the cost of disposal doubled.17 It is hard to see how the combination of rising costs and the use of unlicensed contractors can do anything but exacerbate the problems caused by the increase of fly-tipping throughout the country.

The HSC's proposals have a resonance that extends far outside the country's borders. Relaxing the rules controlling exposure to any asbestos-containing products sends out the wrong signal and will, no doubt, lead to more haste and less caution by those tasked with this work. At home, this will jeopardize the health of thousands; in developing countries, many of which refer to British occupational health standards when developing their own, this could be construed as support for the asbestos industry's mantra that the “controlled use” of white asbestos is possible. The November 2005 newsletter18 of the Chrysotile Institute (formerly the Asbestos Institute), the mouthpiece of the Canadian asbestos industry, notes that the HSE is inviting “interested persons” to answer a number of questions on removing work with textured decorative coatings from the licensing regime. As in previous consultation exercises, the HSE is likely to receive submissions from asbestos profiteers with more interest in protecting global markets than in preventing hazardous exposures. One wonders how the HSC will weigh up the outrage of those endangered by these proposals, as expressed by trade unions, asbestos victims' groups and politicians, and the approval of an industry desperate for increased sales.

A protest, organized by the Construction Safety Campaign and UCATT, was held outside the HSC's London headquarters on January 17, 2006 to coincide with a meeting of HSC Commissioners to discuss the controversial proposals. HSC Commissioners Hugh Robertson (TUC), Elizabeth Snape (Unison) and Danny Carrigan (Amicus) met with the demonstrators outside the building and agreed that provisions of the consultative document were unacceptable. Addressing the crowd, union activist Tom Lannon said:

“Today's demonstration is a clarion call to the HSC to say an emphatic no to their plans to weaken the regime regarding the removal of deadly asbestos from buildings… As construction workers we know the dangers and serious implications of asbestos removal, if the proper procedures and regulations are not carried out. The task should be done by licensed removal contractors, who abide by proper regulations.”

It is disappointing in the extreme that in the centennial year of Dr. Murray's testimony to Parliament such a backward step is being contemplated. Whether motivated by a pragmatic response to dwindling financial resources or by a genuine belief in the data supplied by the HSL, the HSC's proposals do it no credit whatsoever. On this sad anniversary, one could have hoped for a more fitting tribute to those who have died prematurely from exposure to the killer dust.

2. Judicial Threat to Mesothelioma Claimants

Within the last three years, the judicial processing of asbestos cancer cases has been transformed by the introduction of a fast-track system for mesothelioma claims by the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court at the Royal Courts of Justice (RCJ). Tightly timetabled procedures, the use of telephone and email for case management conferences and applications, and the guidance of Master Steven Whitaker have reduced litigation time, increased the certainty of results and cut costs for both sides. By specializing in this complex type of litigation, Master Whitaker has built up a unique judicial expertise which he uses to good effect; the majority of cases brought by living mesothelioma plaintiffs are settled within four months of issue and for surviving relatives within seven months. All this progress could be lost if proposals made by the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) in its Consultation Paper CP25/05: Focusing Judicial Resources Appropriately - The Right Judge for the Right Case, are adopted.19 Measures suggested to ration the use of judicial resources and restrict the High Court to dealing with only exceptional cases could, at a stroke, destroy the “excellent system” which has been created under Whitaker's supervision. In the London area, mesothelioma cases would be relegated to the County Courts; claimants from other parts of England and Wales, who now use the London fast-track system, would be barred from doing so.

Under the DCA's proposals, the existence of “civil specialisms,” as practiced by the Commercial Court, Admiralty Court, Patents Court, Administrative Court, Companies Court and High Court Bankruptcy Court, would continue. There is, however, no exemption from the judicial cull for asbestos personal injury cases. In a briefing paper he prepared on CP25/05, Solicitor Anthony Coombs wrote:

“Mesothelioma or asbestos related diseases generally are not proposed as a new specialism. There is a need for mesothelioma to be recognized as a specialism. There is a good argument for all asbestos disease to be so recognised, certainly the terminal and disabling conditions. The Dust Diseases Tribunal of New South Wales is a relevant model. Cases are completed here within weeks and sometimes days…”

Coombs points out that whilst high value commercial disputes will merit the services of a High Court Judge, mesothelioma cases, with an average monetary value of less than 200,000, will not. “Is it,” he asks “self-evident that a high value commercial dispute is more worthy of the best resources the court system has to offer than a case involving the ending of someone's life?”

According to Lord Falconer, Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor:

“The pressures faced by our High Court judges are unlikely to diminish. So, it is sensible to explore ways of maintaining the high quality of our senior courts and ensure they are used for those cases which truly warrant their special skills and expertise...Our key aim is to ensure that the right judges are hearing the right cases.”

Taking this statement at face value it appears relatively harmless, yet when the implications of the DCA's proposals for mesothelioma victims are taken into consideration, it is highly disturbing. Balancing the books should never take precedence over the disposition of justice; accountants and number-crunchers should not be the ones to dictate the terms under which justice is dispensed. Michael Clapham MP and Chair of the Asbestos Sub-Committee of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health says:

“The members of the Sub-Committee have been monitoring the progress of the RCJ's fast-track system since 2003. We are in no doubt about the benefits to the individuals and families whose cases have been expedited; for a dying mesothelioma claimant to receive compensation brings a modicum of financial relief and personal reassurance at the darkest of times. The success of the RCJ's service can be seen by a 75% increase in the number of mesothelioma claims issued in the last 6 months of 2005. Only 1% of all mesothelioma cases required assessment hearings; 3% went to trial.

To dying claimants, justice delayed is truly justice denied. The members of the Sub-Committee have submitted an urgent request that the asbestos fast-track be made a specialism within the reorganized system.”

Early Day Motion 1349, tabled on January 11, 2006 calls on the DCA to make mesothelioma a civil specialism.20 Responses to the consultation paper should be sent to Betty Yabrofa at the DCA by January 20, 2006.21

3. Lung Cancer Precedents?

Since the mid-1950s, the elevated incidence of lung cancer amongst asbestos-exposed workers and the synergistic effect that smoking has when combined with this hazardous exposure have been acknowledged. Despite this knowledge, however, few cases of UK asbestos-related lung cancer have been compensated by government schemes or civil actions. Recent court verdicts in the UK and Australia show a divergence in judicial opinion that reflects the increasing intransigence of UK defendants determined to minimize their asbestos-related liabilities. In Mr. Justice Stanley Burnton's High Court decision, handed down on December 16, 2005, in the case of Beryl Badger vs. the Ministry of Defence, the judge reduced the damages awarded to an asbestos victim's widow by 20% due to the deceased's smoking habit which had, the judge ruled, constituted “contributory negligence.”22 According to Justice Burnton, this is the first case to consider

“whether the smoking of tobacco constitutes contributory negligence… in no case decided in the United Kingdom has a smoker succeeded in recovering damages against a manufacturer of cigarettes or other tobacco product.”

Reginald Badger died of lung cancer in 2002, aged 63; he also had pleural plaques, asbestosis, emphysema and ischaemic heart disease. Between 1955 and 1978, Badger had been employed by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) as a boilermaker at its dockyards in Devonport and Gibraltar. Whilst the defendant accepted “that it was guilty of breaches of statutory duty at a time when the dangers of asbestos were known,” when the claim was lodged on February 21, 2003, it argued that the claimant's failure to give up smoking had also damaged his health. Justice Burnton ruled that:

“evidence indicates that at least from the early 1990s he was not a chain smoker. I find on the evidence before me that Mr. Badger could have given up smoking. If he could, and should, have done so at a time that would have reduced his risk of lung cancer at the age of 63, he was guilty of fault that was partly responsible for his death… A person who continues smoking who knows or ought to know that by doing so he is damaging his health, or that he risks doing so, must accept responsibility for his actions. A reasonably prudent man, warned that there is a substantial risk that smoking will seriously damage his health, would stop smoking.”

Smokers who, despite their own best interests, cannot give up their addiction to tobacco are not a rarity; there is a sanctimonious perversity in the Judge's conclusion that as the deceased had not been a chain smoker he was capable of abstaining.

Four years ago, Beachcroft Wansbroughs, the law firm acting for the MOD in this case was accused by Sir Sydney Kentridge QC of “misleading” the Judicial Office of the House of Lords during the Fairchild appeal.23 The firm describes itself as “one of the UK's top commercial law firms with an annual billing of 89.4m”; it works for “all the major insurance and financial service corporations.” In its press release of December 20, 2005 headed Beachcroft Wansbroughs plays key role in landmark personal injury ruling against smokers' claim, the company wrote:

“The judgment reinforces existing case law that once a relevant fault on the part of a claimant has been established, a reduction in damages recoverable is obligatory. A number of factors – such as the length of time a claimant smoked, when he or she started smoking, medical advice given about smoking and the presence of other smoking-related diseases – may be relevant in assessing the percentage of reduction for contributory negligence… The decision has important implications for claims arising from asbestos exposure where the injury suffered is lung cancer and the claimant was a smoker.”

An article in The Times claimed that the ruling was a “victory for insurance companies.” Plaintiffs' Solicitor Adrian Budgen had a different reaction:

“It's an unhelpful precedent and ignores many important points. While the synergistic effect of smoking on asbestos-exposed workers was well-known to the MOD as well as other asbestos defendants, Mr. Badger was never advised that the combination of his occupational asbestos exposure and smoking habit increased his risk of developing lung cancer to 55 times the norm. Had he been warned about this dynamic synergistic relationship, he may well have kicked the habit before his fate was sealed.

The 20% reduction for 'contributory negligence' came on top of the lower multiplier used by the Court to calculate the claimant's future financial losses which resulted from the deceased's already reduced life expectancy due to his smoking-related emphysema and heart disease. This constitutes a doubly whammy for the claimant and yet another windfall for defendants and their insurers.”

According to Andrew Price, Mrs. Badger's Solicitor:

“Because of the exceptional factors in this case, I feel it would be wrong for this verdict to dissuade lung cancer claimants, who experienced asbestos and tobacco exposures, from taking legal action. There is no doubt that the Judge was influenced by the many references in Mr. Badger's file to medical warnings to give up smoking even though he was never advised of the lethal combination of tobacco and asbestos, a relationship which the MOD knew but did not disclose. Nearly all the dockyard clients I have represented smoked in the 1960s and 1970s; the vast majority gave up one or two decades before they were diagnosed. Had Mr. Badger done so, I am sure the outcome would have been different. It is important to note, however, that when the case first began, the insurers were demanding a 2/3 reduction in damages due to Mr. Badger's smoking; by the time the case got to court, they had reduced their demands to 25% and the Judge further reduced this to 20%. All in all, our client was satisfied with the amount which was obtained.”

They do things differently in Australia. As a result of a August 12, 2005 decision by Judge Chris Geraghty of the Compensation Court of New South Wales in the case of Maria Restuccia vs. Workers Compensation (Dust Diseases) Board, thousands of people, whose claims for compensation had been blocked by their smoking histories, are expected to bring legal actions.24 There are many similarities between the Restuccia and the Badger cases:

  • Dominic Restuccia died of lung cancer (1999);

  • he had “typical fibrous asbestos pleural plaques scattered throughout the pleural cavity on each side”;

  • he was a smoker;

  • he experienced occupational asbestos exposure over a period of years.

Fortunately for the claimant, the Australian Judge took an altogether more robust approach:

“The question of causation is in law always a question of fact – a matter to be determined by applying the dictates of common sense to all the relevant circumstances. So legally, causation is not a philosophical consideration or a scientific finding, but a conclusion based on the dictates of experience. And it must be conceded that considerations of policy and value judgments do often enter into the question of causation…

I have come to the conclusion that in the circumstances of this case, the deceased's exposure to asbestos over a number of years and in different circumstances made a material contribution to the development of the disease of lung cancer which in turn resulted in his death… I find that it is more probable than not that the lung cancer which caused the death of Dominic Restuccia was itself caused, or materially contributed to, by two agents, namely cigarette smoking and asbestos inhalation, each not acting independently, but in a dynamic synergistic relationship.”

Paul Bastian, a representative of the Australian Manufacturing' Workers Union (AMWU), believes that blue collar workers, such as fitters, boilermakers, sheet metal workers and electricians, are amongst those most likely to benefit from this decision. The AMWU, said Bastian, has asked the New South Wales Dust Diseases Board to review its litigation strategy and provide information on similar cases which had been rejected. Up to 2004, the Dust Diseases Board had compensated only 300 lung cancer sufferers; based on the number of mesothelioma applicants whose claims had been recognized (1,800), it is reasonable to have expected that compensation for more than 3,000 cases of occupationally-contracted asbestos-related lung cancer would have been granted.25

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1 Dr. Montague Murray reported an asbestosis fatality to the Parliamentary Departmental Committee on Compensation for Industrial Diseases in 1906; the deceased, age 33, was the last survivor of ten people who had worked in the carding room of an asbestos textile factory.

2 See newsletter issues 49 & 53.

3 CD 205 can be accessed online: http://www.hse.gov.uk/consult/condocs/cd205.pdf

4 By comparison, the consultative period for the CAWR 2002 was four years. In his January 9, 2006 reply to a letter from the Sheffield and Rotherham Asbestos Group, Philip Hunt, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, confirmed the HSC's decision to stick to the January 30th deadline: “HSC therefore intends to keep to the original timetable, which is in line with the 12-week minimum required by the Cabinet Office's Code of Practice on consultation.”

5 HSE: Health and Safety Executive. The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) is responsible for health and safety regulation in Great Britain. The HSE and local government are the enforcing authorities who work in support of the Commission.

6 HSE Press Release dated November 3, 2005. Accessed November 11, 2005: http://www.gnn.gov.uk/

7 The proposed regime would not require extraction equipment or on-site personnel decontamination; it also accepts a two-stage airlock system for access instead of the three-stage system required by the current system. Under the new procedures, only a visual inspection of the enclosure would be required by the contractor; currently, inspection by an independent UKAS laboratory is compulsory.

8 Draft TUC response to CD 205 - Proposals for Revised Asbestos Regulations and an Approved Code of Practice.

9 Textured asbestos-containing coatings were a licensed material for 22 years. The current provisions for handling minor works allow an individual to work for up to one hour a week on licensed materials or a total of any number of workers can do so for up to 2 hours a week. These limitations have been replaced by the new category of “sporadic and low intensity” exposure. Little attempt is made to define what constitutes “low intensity” exposure except to state that it is less than the control limit; no definition for “sporadic exposure” is provided. The lack of precision in the use of the term “sporadic” could result in the long-term employment of workers on removal of asbestos-containing textured coatings such as Artex. It remains unknown whether long-term minor work on other asbestos products such as pipe insulation and insulation board would be regulated but there is no current provision in the proposed regulations to do so.

10 HSL Report: An investigation into the airborne fibre release during the removal of textured coating from domestic premises: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/hsl_pdf/2005/hsl0532.pdf

11 The HSL report estimated that in Great Britain there are 2 million industrial or commercial buildings and 2.4 million domestic premises which contain asbestos.

12 Howie R. Assessment of the Scientific Validity of the Health and Safety Commission's Proposal to Exclude the Removal of Textured Decorative Coatings Containing Asbestos from Licensed Activities. Unpublished paper. December 2005.

13 http://edmi.parliament.uk/edmi/

14 The proposed regulations are intended to bring the UK into compliance with European Union Directive 2003/18/EC which amends Council Directive 83/477/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work; the deadline for compliance with the Directive is April 15, 2006.

15 According to ARCA, insurers have indicated that due to the health risks associated with asbestos, they will not be willing to provide cover for this type of work.

16 McElvenny DM, Darnton AJ, Price MJ, Hodgson JT. Mesothelioma Mortality in Great Britain from 1968 to 2001. Occupational Medicine 2005;55:79-87.

17 See newsletter issue 59, article 4: Tackling UK Asbestos Waste.

18 http://www.chrysotile.com/data/newsletter/nl011_en.pdf

19http://www.dca.gov.uk/consult/focus/focus_cp2505.htm

20 http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=29736&SESSION=875

21 email: betty.yabrifa@dca.gsi.gov.uk

22 Beryl Badger vs. the Ministry of Defence. December 16, 2005. The amount awarded was 42,500 for general damages and 106,644.08 for special damages totalling 149,144.08. With interest the final amount due to Mrs. Badger was 153,000; the 20% deduction meant she received a sum of 122,000.
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2005/2941.html

23 See newsletter issue 47.

24 The amount of money awarded by the Court to Mrs. Restuccia remains undisclosed.

25 Smokers Win Right to Sue for Asbestos. Accessed September 14, 2005: http://unionsafe.labor.net.au/news/112666351422510.html

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Compiled by Laurie Kazan-Allen
ÓJerome Consultants