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Have you ever worked with asbestos?

  • By Luke Bishop
  • Published 05/31/2012

A high number of personal injury cases are related to conditions picked up after years working with dangerous tools and materials. From one off incidents to continued exposure to the wrong compounds, there are plenty of things that can have an affect on your health. Personal injury services are here to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve should an accident happen while you are under someone else’s watch.

Francis Charles is one such man who developed an asbestos-related lung condition as a result of work he did more than 20 years ago has appealed to former colleagues to come forward and help in his fight for justice.

Charles, 73, suffers from Diffuse Pleural Thickening, a debilitating lung condition that leads to breathlessness. Caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres, the illness results in a reduction in lung capacity as well as scarring and thickening of the delicate membrane surrounding the lungs.

“I was exposed to asbestos during my time working as an assistant copper fitter in Poole,” said Mr Charles. “I used to repair and strip the material from old induction coils. Most of my work involved drilling and cutting asbestos cement, ceramic glass and other heatproof products which contained asbestos,” he said. “I used to cut insulation rings from asbestos sheets and I remember the huge amount of dust created by that.”

Mr Charles was diagnosed with Diffuse Pleural Thickening in August 2010, and immediately knew it was as a result of his work with R Osborne Ltd. “There was always so much asbestos dust just hanging in the air around our workspace – it was impossible to avoid breathing it in,” he said. “We worked in a small industrial warehouse and the air in that place was disgusting. Many of us complained but we were only ever given basic face masks which were completely inadequate. It was a disgrace.”

Specialist industrial disease solicitor Nick Greaves, of Fentons Solicitors LLP, is now hoping former colleagues of Mr Charles will be able to offer information and confirm the details of his case in order to help in his fight for justice.

“Francis can recall how the walls and roof in the factory – which were partially made of asbestos – were left unpainted,” said Mr Greaves. “This meant that anyone brushing past them would release asbestos fibres into the air for staff to inhale. He also remembers how there were great piles of white asbestos dust all over the place and how it used to get everywhere.

“This was the type of daily environment Francis was obliged to work in,” said Mr Greaves. “He was so concerned with the general health and safety of the place that he had the foresight to make a record of his employer’s insurer for future reference.

“All he did was work diligently in an environment that clearly was harmful to his health,” he said. “Unless we can prove that Francis was exposed to asbestos during his time with the company, he may go uncompensated for the fact that he has developed this illness as a direct result.”

About the Author: Luke Bishop is a writer and supporter of personal injury services



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