Information Sought On Working Conditions At East Midlands Electricity Board And Courtaulds In Coventry
The widow of a construction worker is appealing for her husband’s former workmates to come forward following his death from asbestos-related cancer.
Alan Knowles, from Hinckley, Leicestershire died from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously.
Following her husband’s death aged 75, his wife Susan Knowles, 73, instructed asbestos-related disease specialists at Irwin Mitchell to investigate where her husband’s asbestos exposure may have taken place.
Susan has now joined with her legal team ahead of this year’s Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April to appeal for any of Alan’s former workmates to come forward with information on the conditions he may have worked under.
They are particularly keen to trace anyone who remembers Alan from his time working for the East Midlands Electricity Board in work across the East Midlands, from 1963 to 1967 and Courtaulds in Coventry, from 1969 to 1979.
Expert Opinion“Alan’s death is another dreadful reminder of the terrible legacy that asbestos has created. His mesothelioma diagnosis came as a complete shock to his family, who are still struggling to come to terms with his death.
“Understandably Susan and the rest of the family continue to have a number of concerns about how he was exposed to hazardous asbestos. While nothing can make up for what’s happened we’re determined to at least provide them with the answers they deserve.
“As part of our investigations we’d like to hear from any of Alan’s former workmates about the conditions he faced during his career to help establish the truth of how he came to be exposed to asbestos.” Nick Woods - Associate Paralegal
Alan began work for the East Midlands Electricity Board in 1963. The board covered a wide geographical area, from Chesterfield in the North, to Milton Keynes in the South and from Coventry in the East, to Skegness in the West.
Alan’s job involved laying mains cables as part of various construction projects in new residential areas.
In 1969, Alan joined Courtaulds and was employed at its plastic moulding factory in Coventry for 10 years until 1979.
Based in the Foleshill Road Works, Alan was involved in using a type of plastic believed to contain asbestos and used in the manufacture of many household items, from toilet seats to telephones.
Alan was particularly keen on football and in his younger days, had hoped to turn professional. He had been on the books of Leicester City.
Alan and Susan had three children, Mark, Deborah and Simon and five grandchildren – Luke (Mark’s son), Abigail, Jake (Deborah’s children), Daniel and Millie (Simon’s children).
Aside from his great love of football, Alan’s main hobby was gardening and he would spend a lot of time and money maintaining it. Alan and Susan loved sharing days out together and would regularly drive to the Cotswolds to visit antique shops and garden centres in the region.
Alan had been in good health, until he started to feel unwell in late 2019 and the early part of 2020. Having consulted his GP, Alan was referred to hospital for a number of tests and mesothelioma was diagnosed in March 2020. He died in June 2020.
Susan said: “Losing Alan was a terrible experience and the whole family is still struggling to come to terms with it.
“Alan’s diagnosis came from out of the blue and the timing during the early stages of the coronavirus lockdown couldn’t have been worse.
“Alan was an amazing husband and father and didn’t deserve this happening to him when he should have been spending time with the family and enjoying his retirement.
“Alan wanted to understand how he came to be exposed to asbestos, but the progression of his illness made that impossible. The least I can do now is look to get the answers in his memory and allow Alan to rest in peace.”
Anyone with information that could help Susan is asked to contact Nick Woods at Irwin Mitchell on 0114 274 4292 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April remembers those who have died as a result of their employment, and campaigns to improve health and safety standards in the workplace and increase protection for employees.