What Do the Changes to CAR Really Mean?

If you or anyone you love has been affected by asbestos you will know how serious the repercussions can be. The thin microscopic mineral fibres can cause serious damage to your health. They can cause a condition called asbestosis, which is an inflammatory condition of the lungs. This in turn leads to shortness of breath, coughing and in the end scarring of the lungs. All this makes it difficult to breathe and function normally. Asbestos can also lead to lung cancer or mesothelioma, a very rare form of cancer affecting the lining of the lungs, chest cavity or abdomen.

Since March this year, there has been a substantial rise in people contacting solicitors to claim for industrial diseases that have been contracted after exposure to the extremely harmful asbestos fibre. The main change to CAR, Control of Asbestos Regulations, was that people can now claim from the day they were exposed to asbestos rather than from the day their symptoms appeared. Some families will not find out that their loved one was affected by asbestos until after they are dead. However this change in regulations means that they can claim on policies dating as far back as the 1940s. This has already started making a huge difference to many families.

On a daily basis, 4000 people die of asbestos related causes and illnesses. However, this number could be a lot higher as many do not realise that this is the reason why they are ill. There is also a reason to be cautious as the number is likely to rise in the coming years. This is due to many building containing asbestos are being demolished and the harmful material is being replaced by safer products. The material is no in use in the same way as previously in the UK, and both blue and brown asbestos was banned in Great Britain in the mid-eighties.

The changes to CAR became official sixth of April this year. There are three main elements that are different and that should be kept in mind. Firstly, you are obliged to notify of any non-licenced work taking place. You must also keep records of this work, including names of those working on the job in question and their level of exposure. Lastly, by April 2015, a doctor must perform health surveillance on all staff working in asbestos environments.

Although there are continuous changes being made to the Control of Asbestos Regulations there are still some problems facing the industry and the people working in it.