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Asbestos at Stanlow Oil Refinery

Posted on October 23rd 2019

In 2018, some workers at Stanlow Oil Refinery refused to work as a result of health and safety concerns.

The site, now owned by Essar, has suffered a long list of incidents including an accident in which a man suffered a fractured arm whilst using machinery, a large fire and a crane collapse.  The plant has also seen asbestos disturbed during demolition of part of the plant.

 

 

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring minerals. It is an inexpensive and hard-wearing material and has been used widely in the construction industry due to its fire retardant properties.

Although the use of asbestos in this country began to decline in the 1980s and 1990s, it was not banned in the UK until the year 2000. As a result many buildings, homes and workplaces still contain asbestos to this day.

 

Is asbestos dangerous?

If asbestos is in a good state of repair and is not disturbed, it should not pose any risk. It is only when the asbestos fibres become airborne, enabling them to be inhaled or ingested, that they carry a risk to health.

The incident at Stanlow Oil Refinery appears to have caused a disturbance of asbestos and so there is a possibility that workers could have been exposed to asbestos fibres.

 

What are the health risks?

 Not everyone exposed to asbestos will be effected.  However, there is a risk of developing lung diseases such as pleural thickening, asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma.  Mesothelioma is an incurable cancer whose only known cause is asbestos. Sadly it can be caused by very low levels of asbestos exposure.

Asbestos diseases do not develop straight away.  There is what is called a ‘latency period’ between exposure and the onset of any symptoms.  This varies between the diseases and from person to person but is generally between 10 and 50 years.

 

What should you do if you have recently been exposed to asbestos?

 We recommend that you make a detailed note of how and where you have been exposed to asbestos, including details about the type of asbestos and how long the exposure went on.

Details of the relevant employers’ liability and/or public liability insurers should also be recorded in case a future claim is required.  If a company subsequently closes down, insurance will stay pay out on any valid claim.

It is also advisable to mention the exposure to your doctor who should note it in your medical records as a contemporaneous record of the event.

 

If you have been historically exposed to asbestos and require assistance in pursuing an asbestos disease claim or believe you have a valid claim for any other disease, please contact Oliver & Co Solicitors today on 01244 312306. Alternatively, you can pop into the office at Douglas House, 117 Foregate Street, Chester, CH1 1HE or email law@oliverandco.co.uk.

Call and speak to a lawyer on 01244 312306