Derbyshire Man ‘Exposed to Asbestos In Canadian Mine’

Case Highlights ‘Terrible Legacy’ Of Deadly Material


By Rob Dixon

A verdict of industrial disease by pulmonary fibrosis has been recorded at an inquest into the death of a 90-year-old Derbyshire man who believed he was exposed to asbestos during work in a mine in Quebec.

Burton Mail reports that mesothelioma sufferer William Hutchinson died at home last year following a career which saw him come into close contact with asbestos during jobs as a mechanic and another role which saw him demonstrate machinery to clients.

Derby and South Derbyshire Coroner’s Court heard that the latter job took him across the world, including to an asbestos mine in Quebec. In a statement, Mr Hutchinson said the deadly fibres and dust could be seen everywhere.

Adrian Budgen, national head of asbestos litigation at Irwin Mitchell, said the inquest was yet another case which had highlighted how prevalent the deadly fibres were in many industries decades ago.

He outlined: “Shockingly, considering the dangers of the material, exposure to asbestos was not an uncommon occurrence half a century ago – despite many employers already being aware of the dangers of the fibres.

“This story highlights the terrible impact that exposure to asbestos can have on lives, with the health implications only becoming clear many years down the line. While the prevention of exposure to asbestos has improved greatly in recent years, a case like this highlights why employers cannot afford to ignore the risks that the material can pose to their members of staff.

“The terrible legacy of asbestos has touched too many lives and it is vital that work continues to stop many more being affected.”

Adrian added: “This case also highlights the impact of Canada’s industry in mining asbestos. Hundreds of millions of tonnes of the material have been exported to developing nations and as this case shows, this is clearly a major cause for concern.”

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