Man Who Began Apprenticeship In Late 1960s Instructs Lawyers
A father-of-three living with asbestos-related cancer is urging his former colleagues to come forward with information that may help establish how he fell ill.
David Rudley, 66, was diagnosed with mesothelioma four months ago following a series of tests. A terminal cancer of the lining of the lungs, mesothelioma is most commonly associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously.
Following his diagnosis, David, of Baildon, instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his illness and help determine the cause.
He has now joined with his legal team in appealing to his former workmates to come forward with any details that could help with the investigation. In particular, they are seeking people who worked with David at the Yorkshire Electricity Board (YEB) in the late 1960s.
Expert Opinion“David is understandably still trying to come to terms with being diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is a particularly unpleasant condition to live with.
“Through our work, we sadly see too many people who have had their lives turned upside down by asbestos cancer, which is often diagnosed several decades after initial exposure has taken place.
“While nothing can change what David is going through, we are determined to establish what led to him developing the disease. We would therefore be grateful if anyone who worked for the Yorkshire Electricity Board between the late 1960s to late 1970s could get in touch with any information on their working environment.
“Any detail, no matter how small, could prove vital in providing David with the answers he and his family deserve.” Lucy Andrews - Associate Solicitor
David began his employment with the Yorkshire Electricity Board in September 1969 as an apprentice. He remained with the company until December 1977.
During his apprenticeship, David was based in Bradford and worked on homes, commercial and industrial buildings. He told his legal team he would be responsible for running conduit.
He recalled the warehouses were “always very dusty environments” and he would go “home every day quite dirty.”
He added: “Sometimes we could be on ladders or on a scaffold depending on how high we were working. Dust collected on the scaffold. Depending on the age of the building depended on how much dust accumulated. We were often disturbing dust which had been there for quite a lot of years.”
David explained that there was quite a lot of pipework in the commercial and industrial premises, with some of it lagged. He said he came across lagging “in all sorts of different conditions” and he believed it was likely that it contained asbestos as this was the preferred material at the time due to its insulating properties.
He recalled: “At the end of each shift, I did a rudimentary brush down of my overalls. Around 1976, I passed my driving test and would take my own car to work so I would brush myself off, take my overalls off and put them into my boot. I gave no real thought to any dangers of the materials I was working with.”
During his time with Yorkshire Electricity Board, David said he did not remember any specific safety training on the full dangers of asbestos.
He fell unwell when he suffered two bouts of pneumonia – the first in August 2019 and the second in January this year.
During a medication review in March, David’s GP recommended an X-ray. This led to further tests and a biopsy. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma on 26 May.
David is father to Lisa, 34, Philip, 32, and Nina, 29.
Following his diagnosis, he said: “I was absolutely devastated to be told I have mesothelioma. Prior to this, I was quite active. I enjoyed playing table tennis and getting out walking over the moors with my friends.
“But since being diagnosed, as well as generally getting older, I have become more aware of my limits.
“I am trying my best to remain positive, and I am grateful for the support I have from my friends and family, but it is incredibly difficult to come to terms with this disease I am living with and what the future holds.
“It is horrible to think that my work could have been to blame for all of this. At the time, I wasn’t aware of the dangers of the materials I came into contact with, and I really need to know if this is what led to me developing mesothelioma.
“I would appreciate anyone coming forward if they remember working with me and can provide details on the conditions we faced.”
Anyone with information that could assist with this case is asked to contact Lucy Andrews on 07885 261317 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.