Companies in the UK should already be aware of the threat of asbestos and how they are supposed to deal with it, but for those that need to brush up on their knowledge a recent case in Derby could be all the incentive they need.
The Ilkeston Advertiser has told how Roy Corns, 75, died as a result of being exposed to the deadly material. He spent his whole life working for East Midlands Electricity Board, where it is believed he inhaled the substance.
An inquest in Derby has heard how his death on July 16th was later revealed to be a result of a malignant mesothelioma. The post-mortem pointed to this as the cause and the illness is commonly associated with asbestos.
Mr Corns' wife Beryl has detailed how her late husband often spoke of his extremely dusty working environment, but at the time of his duties he did not realise that asbestos was present. Thorough checks should have been carried out to determine whether workers were coming into contact with asbestos and, if it was found to be, respirators and other safety equipment could have been used.
In total, Mr Corns was exposed to asbestos for almost four decades, as he started his career as a fitter in 1953 and eventually retired in 1992. His work involved fitting switches, which it is now believed were made out of the hazardous material.
South Derbyshire deputy coroner Louise Pinder confirmed that he was regularly exposed to asbestos throughout his working life. The inquest upheld this view and noted a malignant mesothelioma as the official cause of death.
The case could serve as a useful reminder for organisations around the country that may be concerned their staff might face exposure to asbestos. If they believe this to be the case, urgent inspections should be held and an investment in safety equipment can be made.
Asbestos is a material it is not worth taking any risks with, as the consequences can be very severe.