Frederick Hodge, who was an electrical engineer at the Houses of Parliament during the 1970’s and 80’s, died last August aged 80 from asbestos-related cancer, and his two sons have discovered that he kept dairies for almost 20 years that outlined his safety concerns of the building.
More and more cases of people who used to work in the building are emerging, where these former employees are believed to be suffering from exposure to asbestos dust particles.
MP’s are due to vote on whether they think they should move parliament out of the building for up to six years in order for refurbishment works to be carried out, which will also include the removal of asbestos.
Mr Hodge’s diaries described his working life at the Houses of Parliament, but they also included entries expressing his concerns over safety which date back as far as 40 years ago.
The diaries are now being used by Mr Hodge’s solicitors to build a case for compensation against his former employer, who failed to look after his safety.
His former employer, the Ministry of Public Building and Works, is no longer in operation and was succeeded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, so the case will be brought against them.
According to Mr Hodge’s diary, he supervised the maintenance of boilers and pipes lagged with asbestos, and it is highly likely he wasn’t provided with any protective clothing.
In his diary, he he also expresses his concern about air testing parts of the building. One comment he made was, “Not happy with method taking bulk samples. Speak to Safety Office.”
His solicitors are also dealing with the case of a man from Essex who worked as an insulation engineer at the Houses of Parliament during the the 1980’s, who is now suffering from another asbestos-related lung disease.
One of the solicitors representing the case said, “This man worked with blue asbestos in the Houses of Parliament, the most lethal form.”
“He remembers having to remove his protective mask on several occasions when the air supply failed and not being told he had to be clean-shaven for the mask to fit properly.”
“He also recalls that air tests failed in the areas he and fellow workers had their lunch and tea breaks.”
Source of article:- www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/16/parliament-electrical-engineer-who-kept-diaries-about-his-safety/ by John Bingham
Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their building so as not to put employees at risk. Contact our Armco office for asbestos management and refurbishment/ demolition surveys on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting https://www.armco.org.uk/
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Published Oct 19, 2016