The family of a school caterer who died from an industrial disease is preparing to make a claim against Lancashire County Council.
An inquest heard Joyce Woodward, 80, of Mowbray Road, Fleetwood, died after being exposed to asbestos during her 40-year career working in schools in the area. Her daughter, Sue Partington, 56, from Thornton said: “There wasn’t a proper diagnosis before she died but now the coroner has recorded her death is linked to asbestos exposure.” She stated that since the inquest had confirmed an asbestos link, the family would seek legal advice to pursue a claim against Lancashire County Council.
It was heard Mrs Woodward, who was employed by the school meals service, worked at Flakefleet and Chaucer Primary Schools and Cardinal Allen High School. The grandmother-of-two enjoyed an active life after retirement, baking for family and friends, before she began suffering from breathing problems. Her health deteriorated and Mrs Woodward was taken to Trinity Hospice on May 5, where she died surrounded by her family on May 29.
A post mortem revealed Mrs Woodward died from a rare, aggressive form of mesothelioma called sarcomatoid. Anne Hind, Blackpool Coroner, recorded a verdict of industrial disease. She said: “This is the frightening thing about this tumour – the exposure can be so long in the past. If the World Health Protection Agency is to be believed, we are going to have a huge explosion of deaths of this kind over the next decade. We have had a lot more cases in the last few years than we have in the last 20.”
This case highlights the seriousness of asbestos exposure and the need for it to be managed in order to protect those who come into contact with the material. This is done by the implementation of a Management Survey by a professional asbestos consultant. The survey will identify and assess all asbestos containing material and give recommendations regarding what actions must be taken. This could be in the form of remedial or removal works. Once/or if the material is deemed in safe condition the inspection cycle to be followed will be indicated. This information can be used by the Duty Manager to create a legally required Asbestos Register.
In addition, should it be decided that a property be subject to any works then a Refurbishment and Demolition Survey must be undertaken by a qualified asbestos consultant. This type of survey will again identify all asbestos containing materials and then advise as to the type of contractor deemed necessary by the Health and safety Executive (HSE) to remove or remediate the material.
Here at Armco we have over 15 years of industry experience in implementing Asbestos Surveys, removal and remedial works, various types of asbestos training and all types of asbestos related consultancy. Our service is friendly, professional and exemplary and our quotes are very competitive. Call the office on 0161 763 3727 for further details.
Published Sep 10, 2012