Twelve people have died every day for the past four years as a result of
working with asbestos, says the TUC.
The figures of 18,000 deaths since 1997 comes as the TUC puts together a
"league table" of those counties and local authority areas that have
seen the most deaths from asbestos.
Every year, about 4,500 people die from asbestos-related diseases, and by
2020, the TUC estimated the substance will have been responsible for more than
10,000 deaths a year.
Most victims live in areas traditionally associated with shipbuilding,
manufacturing, railway engineering, and the docks.
Based on the death rates per million, Tyne and Wear is home to the highest
asbestos death toll, with its shipbuilding and asbestos legacy responsible for
768 deaths since 1997, said the TUC.
Devon is the second hardest hit English county, with the dockyards of
Plymouth contributing towards its 612 deaths in the last four years, it added.
TUC general secretary John Monks said, "The dead and the living both
deserve justice. That’s why the TUC wants to see a global ban on asbestos,
tougher measures regarding the control of asbestos in buildings, fairer, more
efficient compensation and better medical care."
The HSE has published two asbestos guidance booklets for building