Family Speaks Out To Mark Workers’ Memorial Day As Inquest Date Into Incident Is Set
The wife of an engineer who died following a gas leak at a Carlsberg factory has spoken of how her family is still waiting for answers nearly 18 months after his death.
David Chandler, 45, was working at the brewery firm’s site in Northampton in November, 2016, when he was exposed to ammonia.
His widow, Laura, has now joined her legal team at Irwin Mitchell in using Workers’ Memorial Day to speak of their hope that an upcoming inquest will finally provide her family with ‘vital’ answers regarding David’s death.
Workers’ Memorial Day is April 28th, a day to ‘remember the dead and to fight for the living’ by paying respects to those who have died as a result of their employment, continuing to improve health and safety standards in the workplace, and increase protection in place for employees.
Expert OpinionWhilst it is only correct that a thorough investigation to establish all the facts about what happened on the day David died needed to take place, not knowing the full picture has caused a great deal of anguish for Laura and her family as they attempted to try and come to terms with David’s death.
“The family rightly have a number of serious concerns about what happened on the day in question and if anything could have been done to prevent the incident. Setting a date for the inquest is a major step forward in their wish to find out the vital information they want.
“Through our work we often see the devastating consequences of what can happen if health and safety standards in the workplace drop. Workers’ Memorial Day is a time to remember those who have died in the workplace but to also campaign for improvements.
“If the inquest identifies any failings in health and safety measures at the site, it is vital that lessons are learned and improvements made so other families don’t have to suffer the heartbreak that David’s family have experienced following his death.” Hilary Wetherell - Partner
David, of Bridgnorth, Shropshire, was married to Laura, 33. They had two daughters, Ava, seven, and four-year-old Isabella.
David, who was employed by Speedrite, was contracted to work of the Carlsberg brewery. He was helping to remove a dormant compressor unit on 9 November, 2016, when a disconnected valve blew, engulfing the room in ammonia.
He was pronounced dead just under two hours after the leak.
A total of 22 people; including 11 factory staff, two police officers, and nine firefighters were taken to hospital following the incident.
Following his death Laura instructed specialist workplace injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.
She said: “There’s not a day goes by that we don’t miss David. He was such a loving and caring husband and dad who would do anything for his family.
“Our family always did everything together and we have been left devastated and angry by David’s death.
“While time has moved on since David’s death our family hasn’t. Our family is now incomplete and we have had to spend family birthdays and what should be other special occasions such as Christmas, not knowing the full reasons why he died.
“The only comfort I can now take is that after more than a year we will get to find out more about the events of the day and the circumstances surrounding David’s death. I know the inquest will be a distressing time but hopefully it will mean that at least we can try and move on with life the best we can.”
A nine-day inquest into David’s death is due to start at Northampton Coroner’s Court on 19 June.
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