The widow and two children of plumber Benjamin William Smith, a former employee of Mid-Northants Water Board (now Anglian Water Authority) who died after being exposed to asbestos, is asking for witnesses to come forward to support their claim that his death was due to occupational exposure.
Benjamin William Smith died aged 84 on 12th March 2011 from mesothelioma, a disease almost always associated with exposure to asbestos, a hazardous fibre he would almost have certainly have come into contact with during the course of his work.
Mr Smith lived in the Northampton area where from 1951 until his retirement in 1973 he worked for the then Mid-Northant’s Water Board, spending many years at the Tower Works site in Stimson Avenue undertaking plumbing activities.
His occupation would most likely have involved working around insulated pipework where asbestos would be found and any work, particularly repairs, would have disturbed asbestos fibres.
Following the news that his death was due to occupational exposure to asbestos, his widow with the support of The National Asbestos Helpline (NAH,) is asking anyone who worked with her husband or who knows and can confirm his possible exposure to asbestos fibres during his working life (1951 – 1973) to come forward.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer almost always associated with breathing in fibres of asbestos. The ‘lag’ time between exposure and the development of asbestos-related disease averages between 20 and 40 years, which is why witnesses are being sought.
Anyone with information that can connect the late Benjamin Smith with asbestos during his working career should contact the National Asbestos Helpline on free phone 0800 043 6635. All calls will be treated in the strictest confidence.
The National Asbestos Helpline: www.nationalasbestos.co.uk.