Sons Join Legal Team In Supporting Workers’ Memorial Day
The family of a Durham County Council worker who died of asbestos-related cancer are supporting a campaign to end the use of the hazardous material in the workplace.
Tina Handley died aged 64 just over a year after she was diagnosed with mesothelioma – a cancer of the lining of the lung which is most commonly associated with exposure to asbestos.
Following her death Tina’s family instructed specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate if she was exposed to asbestos during her time working for Durham County Council or at the former Dryburn Hospital in the city.
Tina’s sons, Toby and Marcus have now joined their legal team at Irwin Mitchell in supporting Workers’ Memorial Day. The day, this Sunday, campaigns to improve health and safety in the workplace and is particularly focusing on ending the use of asbestos in the workplace.
Expert Opinion“While people may associate the use of asbestos with heavy traditional industries its use was much more common, with public buildings such as hospitals, offices and schools all containing asbestos.
“While asbestos is no longer used as a freely as it once was, this year’s Workers’ Memorial Day is an important time to reflect on the devastating legacy of the material and why safety must always come first in the future.
“The shocking problems of the past must never be repeated again and employers need to recognise the dangers that the material can pose.” Emma Dumbleton - Solicitor
Tina worked as a clerk, typist and personal assistant within the social services department at Durham County Council between 1998 and 2004. Throughout her time there she worked at County Hall in the city.
Before joining the council Tina was an auxiliary nurse at Dryburn Hospital in the gynaecology and ENT departments between 1992 and 1995.
Tina worked at the hospital between 1992 and 1995, and the legal specialists believe that it is possible that she could have been exposed to the harmful asbestos dust and fibres during this time.
She moved to Northallerton in 2004. She died last August.
Before her death Tina recalled how contractors removed asbestos from the office she worked in and from the area around her desk in around 2000.
Legal investigations into whether Tina was exposed to asbestos at either of these locations are continuing. Her former colleagues are being asked to come forward with information about working conditions.
Toby, 43, said: “Mum was such a loving and caring person and we still miss her every day.
“While time may have moved on from Mum’s death our family hasn’t. We still have so many questions about how she was exposed to asbestos and if more could have been done to prevent this.
“We know that nothing can make up for her death but it is positive to see Workers’ Memorial Day highlighting the issue of asbestos and other dangerous substances.
“We would appreciate any help in our efforts to get answers regarding Mum’s death.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Stephanie Wilson at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office on 0191 434 0731 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Workers’ Memorial Day is 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. The day campaigns to improve health and safety standards in the workplace, and increase protection in place for employees.