Mr W, Sheet Metal Worker

Posted: 10th Apr 17 1:34 PM

Mr W of Merseyside was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2011. During his working life he had been exposed to asbestos at 4 defendant firms. Mr W approached the National Asbestos Helpline in May 2011, and the matter was referred to our solicitors.

A case was pursued against the 4 defendants.

Firstly Mr W had been employed a company which manufactured metal duct and ventilation which was fitted in various locations around the country. Mr W worked for them in the 1960s, his early years were undertaking his apprenticeships. He frequently worked alongside laggers who were insulating pipes near where he worked. The laggers would mix asbestos powder in buckets with water. The mixing of the asbestos produced substantial amounts of asbestos dust which Mr W breathed in. No masks were provided.

In the early 1970s Mr W worked for a second company which manufactured ducts and pipework. Asbestos cement was used in a number of the manufacturing processes, and they used it to insulate metal pipework. He came into contact with asbestos when he took deliveries of the raw asbestos cement mixed bags. Mr W’s job was to take them off the lorry and into the store room. He would carry the sacks on his shoulders. The sacks were generally covered in asbestos dust and cement mixture and it was very common for them to split open and spill. White asbestos fibres exploded into the air when this happened and he would be covered in asbestos dust. He also went out onto site and had to install ventilation and duct work in roof areas. In order to get access into the roof areas Mr W would cut holes in the corrugated roofing and through the ceiling and he had to crawl into the confined spaces. The ceiling tiles were often made from asbestos and Mr W was exposed to asbestos dust in this way. Asbestos rope was also used on many duct work jobs and this also released asbestos dust.

Between approximately 1972 and 1973 Mr W was employed as a sheet metal worker at two companies and he went to various sites. He was sent out to do contract work on old and new buildings and he worked alongside other tradesman such as laggers and ceiling fitters.

The case proceeded against 4 defendants and was brought to a successful conclusion in 2012, when the claimant received £220,000 in damages. We were pleased that we were able to achieve the settlement in Mr W’s lifetime.