Unveiling asbestos negligence: A review of “Devil’s Dust”

Two-part miniseries “Devil’s Dust” provides insights into life at James Hardie and the impact of asbestos disease on families.

It can be hard to appreciate the circumstances of those who worked for James Hardie and to imagine the practices of such a dangerous workplace.

Providing insights into life at James Hardie and the impact of asbestos diseases on families, the two-part miniseries “Devil’s Dust” takes viewers on a powerful journey of asbestos exposure and the negligence of James Hardie as a manufacturer of deadly materials and as an employer who failed to provide safe working conditions for its staff.

Based on the research and lived experience of ABC journalist Matt Peacock, who heavily reported on this story and is highlighted in his book, “Killer Company”, the miniseries begins with scenes of James Hardie employees laboring amidst clouds of asbestos, covered from head to toe. A reminder of the appalling conditions faced by the industrial workers during this period.

The story of Bernie Banton (a former James Hardie employee) features in the mini-series, highlighting his role as a key figure in the union campaign, “Make James Hardie Pay”, and his fight for financial support for asbestos victims. Bernie suffered from asbestosis and ultimately succumbed to mesothelioma in 2007. With the anniversary of Bernie’s death aligning with Asbestos Awareness Week, his story serves as a stark reminder of the human cost of asbestos exposure.

“Devil’s Dust” not only serves as a heart-wrenching tribute to the victims of asbestos-related diseases but sends an important reminder to employers of the need for stringent regulations and corporate accountability to be imposed to safeguard the wellbeing of employees.

The mini-series is a must watch for anyone seeking to understand Australia’s asbestos history and the devastating consequences of corporate negligence in the asbestos industry.

What happens if I am exposed to asbestos?

At Brave Legal, we continue to see delayed diagnosis of asbestos-related diseases from older generations of workers and their families who were exposed in the workplace.

Our legal team have extensive experience in asbestos compensation law and can provide support and advice following a diagnosis from asbestos exposure, such as mesothelioma.

Contact us on 03 9070 9816 to speak to our experienced and compassionate team.

This article has been co-authored by Legal Assistant, Lucy French.

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