Guardian Compliance has learned that more than £84 million in compensation has been awarded to sufferers, or the families of those who have died, as part of the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS), according to official statistics (released 31 January 2017).
Diffuse mesothelioma, a cancer linked to asbestos exposure, caused the death of 2,515 people in Great Britain in 2014, according to HSE figures. The disease is usually fatal, and most patients die within 12 months of their diagnosis.
Those most at risk of developing mesothelioma include men who worked in the building industry when asbestos was used extensively. Symptoms vary and it can take up to 20 to 40 years after exposure for symptoms that allow doctors to diagnose the disease to appear.
The DMPS is a scheme of last resort for people with the disease who were negligently exposed to asbestos at work, but who are unable to trace their employer or their employer’s insurer to seek compensation.
The average lump sum payment made through the scheme in the 6 months between April and September 2016 was around £141,000, up from £135,000 in 2015/16. The scheme is funded by a levy on the Employers’ Liability Compulsory Insurance industry, set this year at £40.4 million.
The deadline to apply to the scheme is 3 years from diagnosis. For those applicants diagnosed between 25 July 2012 and 5 April 2014, the deadline is 5 April 2017.
Guardian Compliance have developed an e-Learning Asbestos Awareness (Category A) course to help workers to understand the risks associated with the material so that they can avoid work that may disturb asbestos. Our training provides a comprehensive introduction to the dangers of working with asbestos and helps employers to comply with the law by ensuring that their workers are appropriately trained in order to work safely.