We are happy to announce that we have recently succeeded in an asbestosis claim for a client. In this article we discuss how Mr D was exposed to asbestos and how we proved this in order to secure compensation for him.
Mr D was diagnosed with asbestosis in July 2016. Between approximately 1966/67 and 1990/91 he had been employed by the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB). During this time, he worked as a fitter’s mate, a qualified maintenance fitter, and a retained fireman.
Exposure to asbestos:
We obtained evidence which showed that Mr D worked at two power stations as a fitter’s mate and maintenance fitter. Mr D stated that the stations were always a hive of activity as electricians, plumbers, fitters, and labourers worked there.
Mr D’s main role involved removing asbestos lagging from pipework and boilers to allow maintenance to be completed. The power stations were steam powered in those days. There was miles and miles of pipework all covered in thick asbestos lagging. The asbestos lagging was around 1 to 4 inches in thickness and white in colour. Mr D recalls that the asbestos lagging was often old, damaged and very fibrous.
To remove the lagging Mr D had to cut away at the material with a knife. This would expose the joints beneath. He would then loosen the material and rip off the lagging with his hands. Large amounts of dangerous asbestos dust was released into the general atmosphere. These asbestos clouds were visible to Mr D and there was no ventilation in the stations to suck the dust away. As a result, it was impossible to avoid breathing in the dust daily. We relied upon this information to prove that the company had breached their duty to keep Mr D safe at work. Sadly, Mr D suffered substantial exposure to asbestos dust when working for the company.
No respiratory protection:
Mr D was never provided with respiratory protection until approximately 1986 and was never told that it was dangerous to work with airborne asbestos dust. In approximately 1986, around twenty years after Mr D had started working at the company, he was provided with a full respirator. This respirator had filters but it was not battery operated. Mr D replaced these filters regularly but never had a formal mask assessment with the CEGB. However, as a member of the fire service he knew that his mask fit properly.
After 1986 Mr D does not believe that he experienced any further asbestos exposure when working at the power stations. By this point, health and safety policies had been introduced. Unfortunately, Mr D had already breathed in the harmful dust for around 20 years. This supported his asbestosis claim.
The claim’s outcome:
The company that had taken over the CEGB admitted liability in this claim. We obtained medical evidence from a well-respected respiratory physician in the asbestosis claim which connected Mr D’s fibrosis to his past, extensive history of exposure to asbestos at the power stations.
Mr D’s asbestosis claim was settled on a provisional damages basis, leaving the door open to him to claim further asbestos compensation, if his condition significantly deteriorates in the future.
How can we help?
If you require assistance in pursuing an asbestosis claim or believe you have a valid asbestos claim for any other asbestos related disease, then please contact us today on our freephone number 0800 038 6767. Alternatively, head over to the ‘Contact Us’ page, complete the form and we will be in touch.