We are very happy to announce that we have recently recovered well-deserved compensation for Mr H, who is sadly suffering from asbestos-related pleural thickening with asbestosis. Mr H was exposed to asbestos whilst at work – read on to learn more about his story.
Exposed at work
Mr H worked full time as a labourer for Hamilton Gilmour Sprayed Asbestos Limited for over five years. In his statement, Mr H explained that he worked on a piecework basis, Monday to Friday. He usually started at 8am and would finish work at 4:30pm, but this varied.
The business was heavily involved in asbestos application work. Particularly, they focused on spraying asbestos as a form of fireproofing various customer sites. Mr H worked at various locations including coal mines, concert venues, Didcott power station, the FA headquarters, various banks, and more.
We obtained evidence in support of his asbestos claim which showed that he was employed as part of the spraying gang. His job involved loading the hopper machine which transferred raw asbestos fibre through a hose up to a gun operative above him. It was mixed with water at the top before being sprayed onto girders, ceilings and walls. It acted as a form of fireproof coating. Mr H’s work always involved working with dry, raw asbestos fibre on the ground with the hopper machine.
Exposed to raw asbestos
Mr H was responsible for lifting up bags of raw asbestos fibre and pouring them into the hopper. This process was extremely dusty and sometimes involved Mr H having to separate the asbestos fibre by hand before it was poured. For the first 12 months of his employment, Mr H worked with hessian bags of asbestos fibre. When he unloaded them from the back of the lorry, some of the asbestos escaped. Mr H recalls small puffs of asbestos fibre escaping the bags and covering his clothes, hair and skin. For the rest of his employment, Mr H worked with paper bags of asbestos – he had to rip the top off before pouring. Inevitably, Mr H was surrounded by huge amounts of asbestos dust and fibres which he could not help but breathe in.
Mr H’s witness statement, obtained in support of his claim for pleural thickening and asbestosis compensation confirmed that he worked with tonnes of asbestos over the years. He could recall that it was not uncommon for over 500 bags to arrive in one delivery.
Inadequate safety equipment and checks
Mr H wore the open front button or zip-up overalls he was provided with throughout his employment. They did not have a hood to cover his head. Whilst he was provided with a mask, it was not battery operated, though it did initially have one filter that covered his mouth. He wore this mask for the first 18 months of his employment. After this time, he was provided with another type of mask.
This mask was not battery operated but had filters on either side. Whilst the filters were regularly changed, the masks were never checked for faults. This is a health and safety failing which was relied upon as proof of negligence and breach of statutory duty in Mr H’s asbestos claim. Sadly, Mr H said that the mask was faulty on various occasions and that he would look inside his mask to see the remnants of asbestos. Furthermore, Mr H never had a formal fitting assessment for any mask when he started working at the company.
Expert medical evidence
Expert medical evidence was obtained in support of the asbestos claim which confirmed that that Mr H had diffuse pleural thickening and interstitial fibrosis compatible with asbestosis. This was as a result of heavy exposure to asbestos. The expert said that Mr H was 50% disabled from a reduced effort tolerance – 20% of this disability was respiratory, caused by asbestosis and asbestos-related pleural thickening.
He continued that Mr H faces a 3% risk of developing malignant pleural mesothelioma in the future. Due to his smoking history, he also faces a 2% risk of developing lung cancer which had been doubled to 4% by his asbestos exposure.
Settling the claim
As a result of the medical evidence, Mr H instructed us to settle his asbestos claim on a provisional damages basis. This means that he can claim further asbestos compensation in the future, should he ever develop further complications. We recovered thousands of pounds of compensation on Mr H’s behalf, which he was delighted with.
How can we help?
If you require assistance in pursuing a claim for asbestosis compensation, or believe you have a valid pleural thickening claim, please contact us today. You can do so by calling our Freephone number: 0800 038 6767.