The widow of a Sheffield steel worker is appealing to his former colleagues for information following his death from asbestos-related cancer.
Beryl Dixon has instructed asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate after husband Terence’s death from asbestos-related lung cancer and asbestosis on May 3, last year at the age of 73.
Beryl, who lives in Hunters Bar, believes Terence was exposed to asbestos while working at British Steel’s Grimesthorpe Casting Plant in from 1957 to 1967.
She can recall Terence coming home from work covered in dust, especially on bank holidays when he used to scrape the linings of the furnaces.
When asbestos dust is breathed in, the asbestos fibres enter the lungs and can gradually damage them over years and often decades. Asbestosis develops after prolonged exposure to relatively high numbers of the harmful fibres.
Terence, a father of three, carried out maintenance at the plant, including cleaning the large ovens in the steelworks which involved scraping the lining, which contained asbestos.
Irwin Mitchell is appealing to Terence’s former colleagues who worked at the Grimesthorpe Casting Plant to provide them with information about the working conditions there.
Beryl said: “Terence’s diagnosis was such a shock to us all and we’re still coming to terms with his death.
“My children and I have so many questions about how he came to be exposed to asbestos and, while it cannot change what happened to him, we hope the answers will give us some peace and allow us to try and move on.”
Terence was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2014 at which point his consultant spoke with him about the likelihood of asbestos exposure. After his death, last year, a post mortem examination showed that Terence had inhaled asbestos fibres at some point in his working life. At the inquest into his death, the Coroner concluded that his lung cancer was as a result of industrial disease.
Adrian Budgen, an expert asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing Beryl, said: “Through our work representing the sufferers of asbestos-related disease, we are well aware of the common use of asbestos in steelworks, power stations and other industrial environments and that a significant number of skilled people have been exposed to the hazardous substance during their working life, decades ago.
“The risks of asbestos exposure were known by employers as early as the 30s, so by the time Terence began work, protective equipment should have been provided to employees as standard and they should have been made aware of safety procedures regarding asbestos.
"Beryl does not believe this was the case in Terence’s working at British Steel.
“We would like to hear from Terence’s former work colleagues at Grimesthorpe Casting Plant, who may be able to provide the crucial information which may help provide Beryl with the answers she needs.
“Anyone who has information on the working conditions he was exposed to, or the measures, if any, in place to prevent employees’ exposure to asbestos should contact us as soon as possible.”
“We are very much hoping to give Beryl and her family the answers they deserve.”
Anyone with information regarding the working conditions on site at Grimesthorpe Casting Plant in the 1950s and 1960s should contact Adrian Budgen on 0114 274 4420 or email Adrian.Budgen@IrwinMitchell.com