Asbestos Justice has secured pleural thickening compensation for Mr F who was diagnosed with the debilitating asbestos related condition after suffering regular exposure to asbestos dust in his work for the National Coal Board.
Mr F worked for the Coal Board between 1948 and 1989 approximately as a maintenance worker. Part of his role involved fitting asbestos sheets. A statement was obtained in support of his pleural thickening claim which explained that he had cause to cut, saw and drill the asbestos sheets. Most of the walkways on the coal preparation plant consisted of asbestos sheets. This was often in a damaged state, and Mr F worked on the maintenance of these sheets. Damage to walkways was caused by coal falling from the conveyors and breaking sheets.
The roofs of the buildings were made from asbestos, as was the fitting shop where Mr F worked. He explained that he was in daily contact with asbestos for the entirety of his working career.
For the last 21 years of his working career his job title was surface superintendent. He was in charge of the coal preparation. This took place on the gantries, which were walkways that transported the coal along on a conveyor to the coal plant. These gantries always needed repairing, including the roofs on the gantries. Grey asbestos sheets were used on the conveyor belts and on the roofs. Coal would fall down and smash the sheets and Mr F explained that he and his colleagues were forever replacing them. To do this they had to drill and saw the asbestos sheets, which was a regular activity.
Furthermore, asbestos would flake on the sheets in the gantries and on the roofing, and the asbestos would be airborne.
Further evidence on his exposure to asbestos was provided in support of the pleural thickening claim in that it was alleged that on the coal preparation plant all of the pipes were lagged with asbestos. This would flake off and become damaged. He also worked on repairing and replacing the pipes. To do this he would have to take a section of the pipe off. To do this he would have to move the asbestos lagging, which he would smash off with a hammer or chisel. He would then bolt the flanges, take the pipe off and replace it using an asbestos type bandage.
At no time during Mr F’s period of employment were any precautions taken for his health, so as to avoid exposure to asbestos. No masks were provided. He was never advised of the dangers of working with asbestos or advised of the measures that should be taken to avoid exposure to asbestos. He was never advised to dampen down asbestos when he was working on it and there was never any attempt made to minimise his exposure to it. All such allegations were relied upon in support of his claim for pleural thickening compensation.
Medical evidence was obtained to support causation in the pleural thickening claim which confirmed that Mr F’s condition had most likely been caused by his exposure to asbestos with the NCB and his pleural thickening compensation was recovered shortly after court proceedings were issued, without Mr F having to attend court.
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