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Asbestos Truckers Call For Help

#1 User is offline   doppelganger 

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 11:06 PM

Asbestos carters' call for help

Two truck drivers who were exposed to asbestos while carting the deadly material - even manhandling sacks of it on and off their trucks - believe that the industry needs to ensure that it's looking after the "hundreds, if not thousands," of truckies like them.
Aucklanders John Adams and Graeme Poole want to see a well publicised helplme-style service in place - to offer asbestos-exposed drivers advice on what they should do to check for potential harmful effects, what help's available to them and what their rights might (or might not) be to any compensation payouts.
Adams, now 65, and suffering from asbestosis, reckons he was first exposed to asbestos when he had a holiday job as a schoolboy at James Hardie Industries in Auckland in 1956-and again, regularly, in trucking the material in various jobs right through until the early 1980s.
"I used to help get it off the wharves," he says. He was one of about 150 owner/drivers in the Auckland Truck Pool (most running tippers or flatdecks) and "a lot of them" used to cart asbestos.
"City Haulage had the regular contract to take the stuff from the wharf to Hardies, but when a boat came in there was often so much of the stuff they used to get in a lot of outside truckies as well to move it all.
Many were also involved in transporting the asbestos off cuts and waste from Hardies to a number of rubbish dumps around the greater Auckland area: "Nobody knew what we were handling. We just got the job done. There were certainly no masks. We were wallowing in it.
"I've been told you only need a few good straight whiffs of the stuff and you can potentially get asbestosis," he says.
Adams also worked on a number of demolition jobs where he carted large quantities of asbestos to rubbish tips - jobs like the refurbishment of the Auckland Art Gallery where all the asbestos was ripped out of the building and trucked away by Adams and other operators.
In other instances, the asbestos was carted to farms, for instance:
"People used to use asbestos to cover driveways and farm races because it was cheaper than gravel," says Adams. "I did lots of jobs like that."
He remains positive about his health: "The bad news is I've got six small cysts on my lungs. The good news is they're not cancerous. Yet!"
After getting a referral from his own doctor, he has been to Greenlane Hospital six times for tests since November last year, but specialists don't know whether his current condition will become worse.
Poole, now 63 and still driving, says he has no health worries of his own but became concerned about the possible effects of the asbestos dust he'd worked in briefly on the Auckland wharves in the 1970s.
Poole says he got sent to the wharf with his flatdeck truck to cart sacks of asbestos: "'{ou had to unload it off the hook of the crane - straight from the hold of the ship - onto the end of the truck. Then you had to physically stack it on the truck."
During the unloading, he says, it was always "quite dusty: I used to have to take my shift off. The stuff was like little pine needles that used to get in your clothing."
"Arid you only had to kneel in it and it'd be all over you. You'd get a bit of dust up your nose and you'd start coughing and sneezing."
At other times the asbestos was loaded from a cargo shed, and drivers had to wheelbarrow it from the shed to the truck.
"We never had a mask or anything. I didn't even think about it at the time: You just rolled your sleeves up and got on with it. You had a job to do. We didn't have OSH - we just went and did what we were told.
"It's only now that things are coming out that this stuff could bite you on the backside."
Poole says he can thank a predisposition to hayfever to avoiding further asbestos exposure: "This stuff aggravated it, so I got taken off it - after maybe a month.. .1 can't remember to be honest"
Poole reckons he was only one of many truck drivers carting asbestos:
"There were a hell of a lot of drivers exposed to it. We used to cart tons of it"
Arid, he says, they used to get "totally covered with the stuff -there were clouds of dust as the unloading went on.
Poole says he started to look for information about asbestos a few years ago, once its debilitating effects on lungs and breathing became more widely known.
Arid, he says, it took him some time to get the information about what he should do, whether he really needed to be worried and what medical help he was entitled to.
Says Poole: "It's critical to get good medical care. We need to have somewhere drivers can ring up and talk to somebody - where you can get information from."
The lack of such a service is the reason, he believes, why few truckies have registered with the NZ Asbestos Exposure Register, which has less than 0.2% of its total registrations from "transport drivers" or "trucking" occupations.
That is the surprising statistic provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Service division of the Department of Labour, which keeps the registen
Established in 1992, the register has details of people exposed to asbestos as long ago as 1945
- but currently has only 14 registrations by truckies.
The National Road Carriers and the Northern Distribution Union (covering many truck drivers), both advise drivers who think they have been exposed to asbestos to register with OSH. That opens the door to free medical tests and treatment under the ACC Act.
While the ACC covers the medical costs of testing for asbestosis and its treatment, it is less clear whether sufferers of the disease can make lump sum compensation claims.
Last year the Wellington District Court ordered the ACC to pay the estate of Aucklander Ross Lehmann nearly $100,000 as a result of asbestosis he contracted through being exposed to the material in the 1960s and '70s. His condition was diagnosed in November 2002 and he died a year laten
The ACC has appealed on the basis it can only make lump sum payments for injuries or exposure first incurred after April 1, 2002 - when the lump sum payment scheme was introduced.
Several other lump sum claims against ACC for asbestosis are pending. Arid a NZer who was exposed to asbestos here in the '60s and '70s, but now lives in Australia, has made a successful claim against James Hardie for several hundred thousand dollars through the Australian legal system.. although Hardies is now appealing the decision.
The appeal is based on NZ's no-fault ACC system, which the Australian company claims covers whatever might have occurred in NZ.
Because the man now lives in Australia, the ACC has declined to cover him, although he
contracted asbestosis here.
If the appeal fails, it may open the way for other asbestosis sufferers who worked with the product here, as supplied by Hardies, to lodge claims across the Tasman.
James Hardie Industries in Australia has already pledged in principle to provide up to 35% of its operating cash flow each year for the next four decades to compensate victims of the asbestos products it manufactured until the mid-1980s.
But the money - said to be around $1.5billion - won't start flowing to victims until the company signs a final, binding agreement. After that, it will still need an independent expert's report and will then take the deal to shareholders for approval.
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#2 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 09:34 PM

 doppelganger, on 07 May 2005 - 11:06 PM, said:

<span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Asbestos carters' call for help</span>

Two truck drivers who were exposed to asbestos while carting the deadly material - even manhandling sacks of it on and off their trucks - believe that the industry needs to ensure that it's looking after the "hundreds, if not thousands," of truckies like them.
Aucklanders John Adams and Graeme Poole want to see a well publicised helplme-style service in place - to offer asbestos-exposed drivers advice on what they should do to check for potential harmful effects, what help's available to them and what their rights might (or might not) be to any compensation payouts.
Adams, now 65, and suffering from asbestosis, reckons he was first exposed to asbestos when he had a holiday job as a schoolboy at James Hardie Industries in Auckland in 1956-and again, regularly, in trucking the material in various jobs right through until the early 1980s.
"I used to help get it off the wharves," he says. He was one of about 150 owner/drivers in the Auckland Truck Pool (most running tippers or flatdecks) and "a lot of them" used to cart asbestos.
"City Haulage had the regular contract to take the stuff from the wharf to Hardies, but when a boat came in there was often so much of the stuff they used to get in a lot of outside truckies as well to move it all.
Many were also involved in transporting the asbestos off cuts and waste from Hardies to a number of rubbish dumps around the greater Auckland area: "Nobody knew what we were handling. We just got the job done. There were certainly no masks. We were wallowing in it.
"I've been told you only need a few good straight whiffs of the stuff and you can potentially get asbestosis," he says.
Adams also worked on a number of demolition jobs where he carted large quantities of asbestos to rubbish tips - jobs like the refurbishment of the Auckland Art Gallery where all the asbestos was ripped out of the building and trucked away by Adams and other operators.




In other instances, the asbestos was carted to farms, for instance:
"People used to use asbestos to cover driveways and farm races because it was cheaper than gravel," says Adams. "I did lots of jobs like that."


How many people in the farming community of New Zealand have unwittingly ended up with asbestos related conditions & don't even know they have been exposed to it?

Is there a register of the regions & farms where it was carted to?

This information should be made publically available so those that have had it dumped on their properties can do something about removing it.




He remains positive about his health: "The bad news is I've got six small cysts on my lungs. The good news is they're not cancerous. Yet!"
After getting a referral from his own doctor, he has been to Greenlane Hospital six times for tests since November last year, but specialists don't know whether his current condition will become worse.
Poole, now 63 and still driving, says he has no health worries of his own but became concerned about the possible effects of the asbestos dust he'd worked in briefly on the Auckland wharves in the 1970s.
Poole says he got sent to the wharf with his flatdeck truck to cart sacks of asbestos: "'{ou had to unload it off the hook of the crane - straight from the hold of the ship - onto the end of the truck. Then you had to physically stack it on the truck."
During the unloading, he says, it was always "quite dusty: I used to have to take my shift off. The stuff was like little pine needles that used to get in your clothing."
"Arid you only had to kneel in it and it'd be all over you. You'd get a bit of dust up your nose and you'd start coughing and sneezing."
At other times the asbestos was loaded from a cargo shed, and drivers had to wheelbarrow it from the shed to the truck.
"We never had a mask or anything. I didn't even think about it at the time: You just rolled your sleeves up and got on with it. You had a job to do. We didn't have OSH - we just went and did what we were told.
"It's only now that things are coming out that this stuff could bite you on the backside."
Poole says he can thank a predisposition to hayfever to avoiding further asbestos exposure: "This stuff aggravated it, so I got taken off it - after maybe a month.. .1 can't remember to be honest"
Poole reckons he was only one of many truck drivers carting asbestos:
"There were a hell of a lot of drivers exposed to it. We used to cart tons of it"
Arid, he says, they used to get "totally covered with the stuff -there were clouds of dust as the unloading went on.
Poole says he started to look for information about asbestos a few years ago, once its debilitating effects on lungs and breathing became more widely known.
Arid, he says, it took him some time to get the information about what he should do, whether he really needed to be worried and what medical help he was entitled to.
Says Poole: "It's critical to get good medical care. We need to have somewhere drivers can ring up and talk to somebody - where you can get information from."
The lack of such a service is the reason, he believes, why few truckies have registered with the NZ Asbestos Exposure Register, which has less than 0.2% of its total registrations from "transport drivers" or "trucking" occupations.
That is the surprising statistic provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Service division of the Department of Labour, which keeps the registen
Established in 1992, the register has details of people exposed to asbestos as long ago as 1945
- but currently has only 14 registrations by truckies.
The National Road Carriers and the Northern Distribution Union (covering many truck drivers), both advise drivers who think they have been exposed to asbestos to register with OSH. That opens the door to free medical tests and treatment under the ACC Act.
While the ACC covers the medical costs of testing for asbestosis and its treatment, it is less clear whether sufferers of the disease can make lump sum compensation claims.
Last year the Wellington District Court ordered the ACC to pay the estate of Aucklander Ross Lehmann nearly $100,000 as a result of asbestosis he contracted through being exposed to the material in the 1960s and '70s. His condition was diagnosed in November 2002 and he died a year laten
The ACC has appealed on the basis it can only make lump sum payments for injuries or exposure first incurred after April 1, 2002 - when the lump sum payment scheme was introduced.
Several other lump sum claims against ACC for asbestosis are pending. Arid a NZer who was exposed to asbestos here in the '60s and '70s, but now lives in Australia, has made a successful claim against James Hardie for several hundred thousand dollars through the Australian legal system.. although Hardies is now appealing the decision.
The appeal is based on NZ's no-fault ACC system, which the Australian company claims covers whatever might have occurred in NZ.
Because the man now lives in Australia, the ACC has declined to cover him, although he
contracted asbestosis here.
If the appeal fails, it may open the way for other asbestosis sufferers who worked with the product here, as supplied by Hardies, to lodge claims across the Tasman.
James Hardie Industries in Australia has already pledged in principle to provide up to 35% of its operating cash flow each year for the next four decades to compensate victims of the asbestos products it manufactured until the mid-1980s.
But the money - said to be around $1.5billion - won't start flowing to victims until the company signs a final, binding agreement. After that, it will still need an independent expert's report and will then take the deal to shareholders for approval.

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