The Malta Independent 24 October 2021, Sunday

Former dockyard workers who were exposed to asbestos receive financial compensation

Wednesday, 6 October 2021, 15:09 Last update: about 17 days ago

Forty-nine former dockyard workers have received compensation for illnesses they suffered as a result of being exposed to asbestos.

Details were announced on Wednesday by Finance Minister Clyde Caruana and Social Solidarity Minister Michael Falzon.

In total, the government has received some 300 applications, 200 of which are for deceased persons. The compensation given varies from €5,800 to €16,600, with higher amounts given to those who were most affected by the condition.

Several former dockyard workers and relatives were present for the event.

Caruana said the government will remain close to the workers. “The government recognises what happened in gthe past and the fact that the damage is irreparable. The least we can do is to give financial compensation,” he said.

He explained that applications were evaluated by four medical doctors. The compensation due was calculated on three criteria: the level of disability, the span of the illness and the age of death of the former workers in cases where compensation was given to heirs.

Caruana said there are former dockyard workers who were affected by the condition but who have not yet applied for compensation. Applications will open again in November.

Minister Falzon said this exercises shows that the Labour government cares, even if this is a case that goes back fifty years. The government, he said, is recognising the suffering of these former dockyard workers. While no one knew about asbestos and its effects back then, the government still felt that these workers should be compensated, he said.

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