I've been exposed to asbestos, what should I do?

I've been exposed to asbestos, what should I do?

Asbestos is a term used to describe a group of naturally occurring minerals. Asbestos was found in many popular building products used in Australian construction up until the 1980's. If your house or office building was built prior to 1990, it is likely it will contain asbestos. The majority of asbestos used in Australia during the 20th century was used to make asbestos cement sheeting - known commonly as AC sheeting or fibro. However, asbestos was also used to make a wide variety of insulation products as well as fencing, guttering, car brakes, underlay, sectional lagging, tiles and more. For a list of asbestos containing products by manufacturer name, see this link. If you have been exposed historically, you should consult with your doctor who may refer you for a scan of your chest to determine any signs of asbestos exposure. If you have been exposed recently, you should take the following steps:

  1. See your general practitioner. Your general practitioner will record your exposure history and will inform you of any health risks associated with asbestos exposure. Tell your doctor when, where and how the exposure occurred.
  2. If the exposure occurred at work, ensure an incident report is prepared by you and your employer. Keep a copy of the incident report. Your employer should pay for any out-of-pocket expenses you incur relating to your exposure.
  3. We encourage you to report your exposure to WorkSafe. This can be done anonymously.
  4. We also encourage you to register your exposure on the National Asbestos Exposure Register. You can register your exposure here.

The purpose of the above steps is to ensure you are aware of the health risks relating to asbestos exposure and that there is a record of the incident for future reference. In Victoria, a person may be entitled to compensation if they are diagnosed with one of the following asbestos related conditions; asbestosis; asbestos-related pleural disease; asbestos induced carcinoma (lung cancer); or mesothelioma. For more information about asbestos-related illnesses, click here. Adviceline Injury Lawyers has a dedicated team handling our asbestos matters to ensure our client's receive the highest standard of support and advice throughout the process. Our aim is to obtain the highest possible amount of compensation for our clients and their families, often within short time frames. For free advice about your potential entitlements, call (03) 9321 9988.

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