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Widow's mission to trace source of asbestos which killed her husband
10:30am Tuesday 4th September 2012 in News
THE widow of a Redditch metal worker who died of an asbestos-related disease has launched an emotional appeal to win justice for her husband by asking his former colleagues to come forward with vital information.
Victor Clark was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, in December 2010 and died three months later, aged 64.
The grandfather-of-one, who worked for many years in and around the Birmingham area and lived in Matchborough, Redditch, died just one year after celebrating his Ruby wedding anniversary with his wife Jean.
With the help of specialist asbestos lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, Mrs Clark, is now seeking people who worked with her husband who may be able to provide information as to how he came into contact with the lethal fibres.
It is believed the cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos throughout Mr Clark’s career as a metal fabricator.
From 1962-68, he worked for Bigwood Brothers in Moseley, carrying out metal work in the factory as well as installing fire escapes at various sites.
From 1968-70, he was employed by Stern and Bell in Birmingham where he manufactured equipment for launching explosives from the rear of ships. He then moved to Down and Francis Limited in Kings Norton until 1978, where he also installed fire escapes and overhead conveyors.
From 1978-80 he worked for Kings Insulation in Coventry where he installed the first overhead computerised conveyors at the Lode Lane Land Rover site in Solihull.
Mrs Clark said: “Victor and I had been happily married for 41 years and I miss him terribly. We had celebrated our Ruby wedding anniversary the year before he died and to lose him so suddenly has been really difficult to cope with.
“When we were told about his diagnosis we were both completely devastated. This terrible illness took him so very quickly and he suffered a great deal in the last months of his life.
“Victor worked hard all his life and to know that his work was ultimately responsible for his death is hard to bear. He had not thought about his work with asbestos for years, then all of a sudden, we were told he had an incurable asbestos-related disease.
“I really hope what happened to Victor serves as a warning to other workers and, in particular employers that health and safety regulations are there for a reason and should never be ignored.”
Hayley Hill, a workplace illness expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office, representing Mrs Clarke, added: “Even in the 1950s, 60s and 70s employers knew about the risks associated with asbestos and the dangers of inhaling lethal fibres.
“Mesothelioma is a terminal asbestos-related cancer. Although it can take around 20-40 years from exposure to onset of the illness, once diagnosed it can be very aggressive and painful.
“In order to help Jean in her fight for justice, we are keen to hear from workers from Bigwood Brothers between 1962 and 1968, Stern and Bell between 1968 and 1970, Down and Francis Limited between 1970 and 1978 and Kings Insulation between 1978 and 1980.
“In addition, we would like to hear from anyone who worked at the Rover sites at Longbridge between1970 and 1978 and Lode Lane between 1978 and 1980.
“We urge anyone with information to come forward as they may have key details about the presence of asbestos and working practices.”
Anyone who has information can contact Hayley Hill on 0870 1500 100 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.