Royston man in asbestos appeal to former work colleagues

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Royston man in asbestos appeal to former work colleagues

12th November 2015

A Royston man who developed pleural thickening 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.

Having been diagnosed in March 2013, Alan Kendall, 65, of The Causeway, is currently awaiting further tests to determine the extent of asbestos-related pleural disease found in his lungs.

Andrew James, a specialist industrial disease lawyer at Fentons Solicitors, part of Slater & Gordon, is representing Mr Kendall. “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,” said Mr James. “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 over 34 years up until he retired in July this year, Alan Kendall was employed by Marley Eternit Limited at their Whaddon Road asbestos cement factory in Meldreth. 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.

“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,” said Mr James. “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,” he added. “As well as breaking the asbestos blocks up he 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. Alanis 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."

Can you help?

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 Andrew James on 0844 893 6702 or e-mail