Thomson Snell & Passmore act for three claimants who have developed mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure at work some years ago.
Letters requesting help have gone out to 900 plus employees of the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB). One claim is for a now deceased wife who laundered her husband’s overalls.
The names and addresses have been obtained from the CEGB South Eastern Region Pocket Directory November 1978. Many employees will have moved and sadly died (of asbestos and non related asbestos diseases).
“What we need to know is when did the CEGB actually put in place precautions to prevent asbestos exposure to employees and sub-contractors working in power stations?” said Alan Care from Thomson Snell & Passmore. “I have settled other power station claims but it is time this research was undertaken and completed”.
The issue to be addressed concerns any disagreement as to the actual dates that the CEGB protected employees and sub-contractors from exposure to asbestos. Asbestos was used as lagging in vast amounts in power stations for heat insulation from the 1950s – 1980s. Existing asbestos was also removed and replaced during these years.
Very recently for example tons of asbestos was removed from Dungeness power station. Over many years employees and sub contractors carried out servicing and repairs to plant, exposing them to asbestos for example when working on piping, turbines and boilers.
In many cases and in industries other than power generation, head office guidelines were issued but seemingly not implemented “on the ground”. This meant employees/sub-contractors were not informed.
The classic date employers “ought to have known” of the hazards of asbestos and mesothelioma was 1965. However, there was knowledge in industry from the 1930s [HMIF Merewether Report] A classic quote from the 1898 H M Factory Inspectorate report:
“"The evils of asbestos dust have also attracted my attention, a microscopic examination of this material which was made by HM Medical Inspector clearly revealed the sharp, glass-like jagged nature of the particles and where they are allowed to rise and to remain suspended in the air of a room, in any [emphasis added] quantity, the effects have been found to be injurious as might have been expected".
So what for the CEGB is the date that they “ought to have known”. What did they tell their employees and sub-contractors and when?
If you have any information please contact Alan Care.