Rushden man exposed to deadly dust at work

At the inquest in Kettering today (Thursday, November 5) senior coroner Ann Pember gave a conclusion of death caused by industrial disease in the case of Edwin Day
At the inquest in Kettering today (Thursday, November 5) senior coroner Ann Pember gave a conclusion of death caused by industrial disease in the case of Edwin Day

A Rushden man was exposed to deadly dust at his workplace in the 1960s, an inquest has ruled.

Now his devastated daughters have instructed specialist lawyers to investigate his death.

At the inquest in Kettering today (Thursday, November 5) senior coroner Ann Pember gave a conclusion of death caused by industrial disease in the case of Edwin Day.

Mr Day was diagnosed with pleural plaques and pleural thickening in February 2014 after suffering with shortness of breath for six months and died in May 2015 at the age of 77.

Before his death he instructed expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how and where he was exposed to the asbestos which has ultimately led to him developing his respiratory conditions.

Now, his daughters, Melanie, Susan and Kerry, along with the specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, are appealing to his former workmates to help provide information on the conditions he endured decades ago.

Melanie is urging her dad’s former colleagues at Nene Valley Coachworks in Rushden, where he worked as a carpenter, to come forward with any information they may have on his exposure to asbestos and if more could have been done to protect him during his employment with the firm.

Mr Day worked for the company, which ceased trading in the 1980s, from 1964 until 1970.

Before his death, he told his legal team he believed he came into contact with asbestos while working with asbestos sheeting at the firm.

He also recalled the factory burning down and that he and some of his colleagues were sent into the rubble to salvage tools and equipment.

He said there was a thick layer of asbestos dust in the rubble and that he was not provided with breathing equipment or protection during this task.

Rajni Kandola, an expert asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell leading the case, said: “Exposure to asbestos can cause a range of very serious, and sometime fatal, diseases and respiratory conditions.

“It can be extremely difficult for victims of asbestos exposure and their families to come to terms with the fact they developed ill health as a result of asbestos exposure at work decades earlier.

“Unfortunately, Edwin’s death came before his case could be fully investigated and we are now calling on anyone who worked with him to come forward to help his daughters understand how and where he came into contact with asbestos.

“His family has been devastated by their loss and understandably want to know why their father was taken from them and if more could have been done to protect him while he was at work.”

Melanie, 54, of Rushden, said: “It is very hard to explain how difficult dad’s death has been for us all.

“It was devastating to watch him in so much pain as a result of the problems caused by the asbestos he inhaled decades ago.

“We have all been left with a hole in our lives, but our main focus now is to understand how and where he was exposed to asbestos so we can secure justice in his name.

“That is why we are appealing to anyone he worked with at Nene Valley Coachworks to come forward and provide the information we so desperately need.”

Anyone with information on working conditions at Nene Valley Coachworks can contact Rajni Kandola on 0121 214 6584 or email Rajni.Kandola@IrwinMirtchell.com.

In 2010 we reported how insurers of Nene Valley Coachworks had been found, raising hopes that former employees who had been affected by asbestosis could receive compensation.

Solicitors Simpson, Sissons and Brooke had found that Norwich Union provided cover for the firm in 1970 and 1971, and other insurers who did so from 1966 to 1969 and 1971 to 1972.