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Plea to workers in asbestos probe
The devoted wife of a man who died from an asbestos-related cancer is appealing for his former work colleagues to help lawyers investigate why he was allowed to come into contact with the deadly dust.
Barbara Worden lost her husband Robert, known as Bob, on November 10, 2009, aged 77 after a two-year battle with the debilitating disease asbestosis, which is caused by exposure to asbestos.
Mrs Worden, of Oakworth, believes her husband came into contact with the toxic substance while working as a skilled moulder at George Hattersley and Sons, Sealand Engineering, Jonas Wells Ltd, Prince Smith and Stells and Marston (IMI) Radiators.
She has now instructed industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s in her battle for justice and to find more information about the working conditions at the Keighley companies, where he worked between 1961 and the late 1980s.
Mrs Worden, 69, said: “Anyone who has lost a loved one to this disease will know that it is an excruciatingly painful one, for which there is no cure. Bob had terrible problems breathing and he’d get stressed out and frustrated about not being able to do the things he loved like walking and gardening.
“I still really miss Bob and always will, but I’m confident that we can get the justice he deserves with the help of local people who worked at the same companies he did.”
Mrs Worden said he first showed symptoms of asbestosis in December 2007 when he started struggling to walk up the hills near their home, despite being a keen walker.
In June 2008 he suffered two blackouts. Doctors diagnosed an irregular heartbeat and he had a pacemaker fitted. However, Mr Worden continued to feel breathless and a month after his heart operation he was taken back to Airedale Hospital for more tests.
Doctors confirmed he was suffering from asbestosis.
His condition deteriorated quickly in the three months that followed and he was taken to Manorlands hospice in Oxenhope. He passed away after just one night there.
Ian Bailey, a specialist asbestos lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office, said: “Barbara is still coming to terms with losing Bob to this horrific asbestos-related disease. In 2010, about 1,000 people died or were diagnosed with asbestosis, according to the Health and Safety Executive.
“It’s a devastating terminal illness and can be very distressing for the victims and their families.
“To help Barbara get to the bottom of why her husband was exposed to harmful asbestos, we urgently need to speak to anyone who worked at the same companies as Bob during his 30-year career to find out more about the protection he was offered.”
Anyone with information should contact Mr Bailey on 0870 1500100 or e-mail ian.bailey @irwinmitchell.com.