|Health and safety legislation: Exposing workers |
to hazards may be costly for companies.
The company now faces claims for millions of dollars of punitive damages.
An 86-year-old former shipyard worker sued the company under the state’s Dust Diseases Act, saying he developed asbestosis because of the exposure to asbestos dust.
The court ruled in his favor because he could prove that the company knew he was at risk of exposure when he worked at the shipyard in the 1970s and that the company was also aware that he could get sick from it.
Asbestosis is a lung disease that occurs from breathing in asbestos fibers, which causes scar tissue to form inside the lung. Symptoms include chest pain, cough, shortness of breath and more. There is no cure.
The worker and his council said the decision was important not only for the interpretation of the Dust Diseases Act but also for hundreds of other similar claims that were still before the courts.
Source: The Australian
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