Former Rolling Mill Worker Appeals To Old Workmates
A Newcastle-under-Lyme man diagnosed with an occupational lung disease has joined with legal experts to call on former colleagues to come forward and help him gain justice regarding his illness.
Kenneth Ricardo was diagnosed with silicosis – a disease caused by exposure to crystalline silica dust in June 2017. His diagnosis was made as part of treatment he received for a collapsed lung.
Following the news, he instructed specialist workplace injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office to investigate how he came to develop the condition and whether it may be linked to his work history.
With their investigations continuing, the legal experts are now seeking more information regarding the conditions he would have faced during his time working for Ralph Lawton Ltd – which was later taken over by British Industrial Sands – in several periods throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
Irwin Mitchell is keen to hear from anyone who either worked with Kenneth or has knowledge of the site during those decades.
Expert Opinion“Sadly this is just the latest in a number of cases we have in which an individual has developed a very serious condition that may well be linked to their work history.
“We have been working hard to develop a full picture of Kenneth’s work history and in particular are now keen for more detail regarding his time at Ralph Lawton Ltd. We would be grateful to anyone who may be able to help us with this.” Alex Shorey - Associate Solicitor
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling asbestos-related disease cases
Kenneth worked at Ralph Lawton from 1970 to 1972 and then rejoined the company for a year in 1976 after it had been bought by British Industrial Sands. Finally, he returned to the company once again in 1978 and stayed there until 1987.
Looking back at this time there, Kenneth said: “I worked at the Chesterton site which was very large and had several rolling mills which would be used to crush materials to make sand.
“While some of my time was spent working on the crushers, I was primarily employed in the mills where sand would be tipped into a large hopper and then dropped down into large sacks. It was very dusty work and there was certainly no ventilation or extraction in the mill.
“For much of my time there I worked in my own clothes and I would be covered from head to toe in dust at the end of the day. There was never any guidance in terms of training or health surveillance, although overalls and safety boots were introduced in the mid-1980s.
“I was devastated to get my diagnosis and it is particularly hard to take that it may have been caused by work. I just feel I deserve answers as to how the condition emerged and whether my employer could have done more to stop it. Any help would be hugely appreciated.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Alex Shorey at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office on 0121 214 5493 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Crystalline silica dust is found in stone, rocks, sands and clays. Exposure can lead to hardening of the lungs and subsequent loss of lung function.
Those with the irreversible disease are likely to suffer from a severe shortness of breath and may struggle to walk short distances or up stairs. Sufferers usually become house or bed-bound and often die prematurely due to heart failure, according the Health and Safety Executive.