A Royston man who has become sick after being exposed to asbestos more than 30 years ago has appealed to former colleagues to come forward and help in his fight for justice.
Alan Kendall, 65, was diagnosed with pleural thickening - an asbestos-related illness in March this year and is currently awaiting further tests to determine the extent of the disease found in his lungs.
Mr Kendall, of The Causeway, only retired in July and had been employed by Markey Eternit Limited for more than 34 years at their Whaddon Road asbestos cement factory in Meldreth.
Slater and Gordon Industrial Disease Lawyer, who is representing Mr Kendall, said, “When a routine lung test carried out at work last year revealed there was a problem with his breathing, Alan underwent a scan at Addenbrooks Hospital. He was then told he had asbestos-related pleural thickening - a lung disease involving a thickening and scarring of the lining surrounding the lungs, caused by the inhalation of asbestos.”
“For much of his working life, Alan’s job involved breaking up large blocks of asbestos into small pieces before feeding the material into a hopper to be ground up and mixed with cement. Although the asbestos used by the firm was eventually replaced with a safer substitute product, unfortunately by this time, the damage to his lungs had already been done. Breaking up blocks of asbestos was extremely dusty work and Alan remembers how the asbestos particles would glitter in the air.”
Up until the company stopped using asbestos, the material was mixed with cement and water to make asbestos cement sheets that were used in buildings throughout the country.
As well as breaking up the asbestos blocks Mr Kendall would also stack dry asbestos cement products, sweep up asbestos dust and debris from the floor and when working on weekend clean ups, clean dry asbestos dust from all the machinery.
“Although asbestos dust could be found on most flat surfaces all over the plant there were no ventilation or extraction measures anywhere along the assembly line to clear the air,” said Mr James. ”In addition, Alan was never warned of the dangers of asbestos and the only mask he was ever given was a paper style mask without any kind of respiratory filter.”
Mr James said that asbestos-related diseases can take many decades to materialise and as a result it was only recently that Mr Kendall was aware he had been affected. “Alan is currently suffering with breathlessness and a dry cough and is now seeking to bring a claim for compensation for the injuries that threaten to ruin his retirement,” he said.
“Marley Eternit Limited were formally known as Atlas Stone Company Limited and began making asbestos cement products in 1928,” added Mr James. “In 1975 they were taken over by Eternit and in 2005 they merged with Marley Roofing to become Marley Eternit.
"Alan is now looking for help from anyone who worked at Marley Eternit in Meldreth in the 1980s and particularly from anyone who can remember working alongside him all those years ago who can confirm what the working conditions were like at the time."
If you remember working alongside Alan Kendall, if you worked for Marley Eternit Ltd, based at Whaddon Road, Meldreth in the 1980s, or think you can help in any way, please contact Slater and Gordon on 0844 893 6702.
Slater and Gordon offer a free consultation for people who have suffered from asbestos-related diseases. Call freephone 0800 916 9046 24/7 or contact us online and we will call you.
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