Carcinogens are agents, which have been shown to cause cancer in humans and animals or are suspected of doing so.
There have been many successful claims for illness and cancer caused by past exposure to asbestos, including many class actions.
One recent such case involved an engineer who sued for £230,000 after being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in 2009. Like so many cases involving asbestos related illness, the man died before the case reached court and his widow settled out of court.
Interestingly the case involved the use of asbestos gloves which were give as PPE to protect against burns, but instead caused cancer. He was given no information or training regarding the risks even after they were widely known.
Four workers were awarded between £4500 and £12000 when a judge in the civil court ruled that their specific form of skin cancer had been caused by work processes making fuel briquettes.
The main areas of health and safety law relevant to Carcinogens are
HSE has published good practice advice to help employers decide on suitable control measures. Available material includes the guidance on Schedule 2A to the COSHH Regulations.
By James Murphy