We know today that asbestos is a lethal mineral. But before the 1960s, it was considered so harmless that workers frequently used no precautions with it. At least once, workers tossed it around in a type of snowball fight.
So recalled the late Robert Maurice Jones, who worked at a United Kingdom power station in the 1960s. This month, according to regional website This is South Wales, Jones died from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and bronchopneumonia conditions caused by his extensive asbestos exposure.
Last fall, he told an inquest that he had been employed as a mechanical fitter and engineer at power plants in various U.K. locations between 1961 and 1972. During those 11 years, Jones was exposed to asbestos every day while working on machinery that was heavily lagged, or covered, with asbestos insulation. “I knocked off the existing lags with a hammer, and it would break away into clouds of fine dust,” said Jones. “It was a normal daily occurrence. It was impossible to avoid it, he continued.
These clouds of dust would drift throughout the building. It was so plentiful that he saw apprentices throwing asbestos in ‘snowball’ fights in places where he worked. “It was thought to be fun, and they were entirely oblivious to the dangers they were placing themselves and others in, Jones told the inquest. In 1971, U.K. power stations were ordered to remove their asbestos. But by that time, the damage had been done to workers such as Jones.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma lung cancer or any other asbestos-related condition, you may be entitled to financial compensation. To learn more about your legal options, please contact Sokolove Law for a free case evaluation. Asbestos attorneys have helped thousands of victims win compensation to recover lost wages and medical costs.