Historically, Australia commonly used Asbestos from the outset of mining of asbestos to the finished product containing different types of asbestos.
There are also thousands of workers who emigrated to Australia from the 1940’s to the 1980’s who have returned to their home country such as Italy, Greece, Malta, China and Great Britain. Many of these workers suffer from the debilitating effects of asbestos related disease, or other dust disease from exposure of other noxious substances through their work.
Tragically, it is estimated that asbestos related deaths will peak at between 2020 to 2030, so sadly the worst is yet to come.
The danger is that asbestos was everywhere. By way of small example, it was the construction material of thousands of Australian houses. It formed part of the lagging covering pipes in ships.
All forms of tradesmen including but certainly not limited to miners, plumbers,electricians, builders and construction workers, factory workers, fitters and turners, dockyard workers and labourers, were all exposed to asbestos, in particular from the 1940’s to the 1980’s. They were digging trenches, installing and removing pipes or cables, sandblasting, operating all types of heavy machinery or simply moving goods and materials.
Workers have been exposed to asbestos up until the 1980’s, and hundreds of thousands of workers have contracted asbestos related pleural plaques, and many have suffered from the more debilitating Asbestosis or the dangerous Mesothelioma, which has a short life expectancy.
Workers rights to damages from the debilitating effects of dust disease goes beyond asbestos, to exposure from other forms of hazardous employment including dangerous dust causing deadly diseases such as silicosis. For example, people who worked in sewerage trenches for the Water Board or excavated telephone lines for the Australian Telecommunications Authority or Telecom Australia were exposed to the dust associated with fibrous cement products causing silicosis.
Subject to legal thresholds, workers who worked in NSW or for a NSW related entity who have suffered from the effects of dust disease, whether they currently reside in Australia or overseas, are entitled to make a claim for damages in the Dust Disease Tribunal. Some workers are also entitled to a Dust Disease Pension.
- I don’t reside in Australia and haven’t lived there for many years and I suffer from dust disease caused by employment in New South Wales. Can I still make a claim?
If for example you presently reside in Italy, you have been exposed to asbestos in the New South Wales jurisdiction in the past and you suffer from the effects of asbestos related disease, it is possible that you can make a claim for damages, and you are not required to leave your home country if you are medically unable to do so. This is of course subject to the extent of your injuries. If necessary, the Dust Disease Tribunal of NSW will be constituted in your home country, to obtain evidence from you, and your legal team will come to you.
These rights to damages exist even if you haven’t lived in Australia for many decades. We have acted for people injured in Australia who have resided overseas for over 40 years, who have been successful in receiving damages for their injuries.
When speaking with your Solicitor, you would need to provide a detailed work history indicating the dates, times and places where you were exposed to asbestos or other noxious substances.
See also www.aiiva.com for more useful information.
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