Armed Forces: Mesothelioma

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 11th January 2021.

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Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement), Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the University of Sheffield and Mesothelioma UK's report The Military Experiences of Mesothelioma Study; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

The health and safety of Ministry of Defence (MOD) personnel is of upmost importance and we are committed to providing a safe working environment including the continued replacement and elimination of asbestos items wherever practicable.

Following the findings of the Military Experience of Mesothelioma Study, we will continue our engagement with Mesothelioma UK and the Office for Veterans Affairs (OVA) to raise awareness of asbestos amongst the veteran community. When mesothelioma is diagnosed, we will support access to compensation through either the War Pensions Scheme or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

Our Health Safety and Environmental Protection directorate, alongside the Defence People function will work with the OVA to explore the issues raised around perceived inequalities between veterans and civilians on compensation claims, and to continue to co-ordinate MOD's asbestos management approach.

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