WE Solicitors have recently been instructed to represent the interests of another former power station worker who contracted mesothelioma and sadly passed away. Mesothelioma is an incurable asbestos related cancer, usually of the lungs, caused through inhalation of asbestos fibres often decades ago.
Throughout the post-war decades in the UK there was a surge in the building of power stations. Asbestos was widely used in the construction of power stations because of its thermal insulating properties. It was used extensively on pipework, turbine houses and boilers. Often there were specialist insulation companies who would be lagging miles of pipes whilst other workers would be undertaking their daily tasks. Many of our clients who worked in power stations recalled it seemed to be ‘snowing’ when the pipework was being logged as the asbestos fibres and dust were everywhere.
Initially the power stations were under the remit of the Central Electrical Generating Board (CEGB) until they were privatised and the state owned industry was divided up.
Often, whole generations of the same family were employed in a power station once it had been constructed and was operational. It was a job for life in the eyes of many of my former clients.
We have represented former power station workers on many occasions and sadly they all had one thing in common. Their exposure to asbestos was avoidable in nearly all instances. It was well known from the 1930’s that there was link between the inhalation of dust and fibres and poor health. Certainly by the 1960’s it was accepted that there was a link between relatively low levels of asbestos exposure and what was then a ‘new cancer’ called mesothelioma.
Employers and especially large state employers such as the CEGB should have provided for the extraction of dust and issued masks and other protective equipment to employees. This would have at least reduced the risk of contracting an asbestos related illness decades later.
If you have been exposed to asbestos whilst working in a power station and have issues with your health, please contact us to today on 0800 294 3065 to discuss how we may be able to assist you.