Unquestionably one of the greatest tragedies of asbestos is the fact that exposure can so often occur completely unbeknown to a victim who then only experiences the lethal health effects many decades later - unnecessarily cutting fulfilling lives short. Another sad example recently came to the attention of our Asbestos Awareness Training professionals, concerning a 68-year old former pipefitter. |
Bradwell resident Ernest Evans died decades after his initial exposure to the extremely harmful fibres when he worked at the engineering firm, Hartleys (Stoke-on-Trent) Ltd, which he had joined at the age of 15. An inquest heard that the Stoke-on-Trent company had changed names several times over the years until Evans' retirement in 2009.
Having previously been in good health, Evans only began to suffer a cough last year, it was revealed at North Staffordshire Coroner's Court. In September, he was diagnosed with the aggressive cancer of the lining of the lungs, mesothelioma, and a month later, was receiving end-of-life care at the Douglas Macmillan Hospice. It was here, in Blurton, where he died on October 23.
Daughter Paula Green recalled that her father was always active in the garden and during his working life, would walk to and from work. This represented a stark contrast with the poor health that suddenly befell him last Autumn, when "He lost loads of weight - he wasn't a big man to start with. It just dropped off him. It was a struggle to get him to eat three meals a day."
It was revealed by a post-mortem examination that Evans' body mass index (BMI) at the time of his death was 12.1 - which, being far below the 'normal' range of 18.5 to 24.9, qualified him as 'significantly underweight'. A lung squeeze also showed the existence of asbestos bodies. A solicitor took a statement from former co-worker and friend George Warrilow, who said that there were three 'shops' in which employees operated, adding: "These were very old buildings. I recall that the walls were made with asbestos sheeting." Evans worked in shop 'number one', Warrilow added, where employees would work with asbestos string, which he said was powdery to the touch, resulting in powder on the hands and clothes of workers.
The cause of death given by the assistant coroner Sarah Murphy was empyema caused by malignant mesothelioma, Murphy stating: "It is clear from the evidence of George Warrilow that Mr Evans had been exposed to asbestos. I accept that the company had not warned the staff about the risks of exposure to asbestos. My conclusion is one of industrial disease."
Contact Trident Surveying now about our comprehensive asbestos awareness training that could play a vital part in averting any future tragedies concerning your current staff.
Related Articles -
Asbestos Awareness Training, Asbestos Regulations,