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Widow Hopes Safety Measures Have Improved As Son Takes Up Profession That Led To Husband's Death

Workplace Disease Lawyers Call For Improved Safety For Tradespeople


A devastated widow has spoken of her fears for her son after he followed his father’s footsteps to become a carpenter, the profession that led her husband to be exposed to asbestos and resulted in his death from an incurable cancer.

Mandy Sillett, from Stowmarket in Suffolk, lost her husband Colin in December 2013, after a two and a half year battle with mesothelioma, an incurable cancer that affects the lining of the lungs.

Now she hopes safety standards have improved in the industry as her son Tom has followed in his father’s footsteps and become a carpenter, after completing his apprenticeship under Colin’s tutelage.

She instructed specialist workplace illness lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Cambridge office to investigate Colin’s death and the law firm has now secured a fair settlement for the family from his former employers after his exposure to asbestos decades ago led to his terminal illness.

Rosemary Giles, an expert asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who represented Mandy, said:

Expert Opinion
“The number of people being diagnosed with workplace diseases in the UK every year is, quite frankly, staggering.

“Colin was one of the many thousands of people who die each year as a result of being exposed to harmful materials during their working life. It is absolutely vital that companies take their responsibility for the safety of workers seriously, as a failure to do so can have devastating consequences for employees and their friends and family.

“Understandably, Mandy is now concerned for her son Tom and we can only hope that safety standards and the awareness of the dangers asbestos poses have improved and workers are now better protected against the deadly substance.”
Rosemary Giles, Partner

Mandy, a nursery assistant, said: “We were absolutely devastated to lose Colin at such a young age and it was heart-breaking to see him in so much pain as he battled against mesothelioma, which was caused simply by him going to work every day. We think about him and the hole he left in our family every day.

“While nothing can replace Colin in our lives, I can only hope that lessons have been learned from cases like his and the protection in place for carpenters and other tradesman has been improved, as my son Tom is now part of that industry and I know Colin would not have wanted him to endure the suffering he did.”

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