A Historic Day for Asbestos Disease Sufferers with Work-Related DiseasesA Historic Day for Asbestos Disease Sufferers with Work-Related Diseases

Wed 26th October 2011

The Asbestos Free Tasmania Foundation today welcomed the launch of the Asbestos-Related Diseases (Occupational Exposure) Compensation Scheme and congratulated the Government for creating Tasmania’s first asbestos diseases compensation scheme.

Chair of the Asbestos Free Tasmania Board, Simon Cocker said:

“This is a very important day for asbestos disease sufferers who have their disease as the result of exposure to asbestos in the workplace.”

“These are terrible diseases and this new, no fault compensation scheme will hopefully offer some comfort that access to quality medical care and compensation will be readily available.”

“Our current workers’ compensation scheme was never designed for asbestos diseases that can develop thirty to fifty years after exposure to asbestos fibres and often, long after a worker has retired.”

“The only alternative for many asbestos disease sufferers has been the costly, time consuming, stressful and adversarial court system which has seen many inadequate settlements and claimants dying uncompensated for an injury that is related to their work.”

Mr Cocker noted that there was still a great deal of work to be done to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos in the workplace and in the wider community.

“The Asbestos Free Tasmania Foundation has a great deal of work ahead of it, not just in  raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos, but also in assisting workers and the broader community to identify asbestos product and take the necessary precautions,” said Mr Cocker.

Simon Cocker will be available for comment at the launch of the Asbestos-Related Diseases (Occupational Exposure) Compensation Scheme, 2 -2.30pm, Wed 26th October, the Long Room, Parliament House.

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AFTF’s vision is for Tasmanians to be free from the risk of exposure to asbestos and asbestos related disease.