By Ian Dipple 30/08 Updated: 31/08 09:45
THE DEVASTATED widow of a Redditch metal worker who died of an asbestos-related disease has launched an emotional appeal to win justice for her husband.
Victor Clark was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, two days before Christmas 2010. The Matchborough resident died just three months later aged 64 and just a year after celebrating his Ruby wedding anniversary with his wife Jean.
Now with the help of specialist asbestos lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, Mrs Clark is desparately trying to track down former work colleagues of her husband who may be able to shed light on how he came into contact with the lethal fibres. It is believed the cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos during Mr Clark's career which included spells at Rover in Longbridge and Land Rover 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 that he had an incurable asbestos-related disease."
Mrs Clark now hopes what happened to her husband will serve as a warning to other workers and particularly employers.
"Health and safety regulations are there for a reason and should never be ignored."
Between 1962 and 1968 the metal fabricator worked for Bigwood Brothers in Moseley, Birmingham and was responsible for carrying out metal work in the factory as well as installing fire escapes at various sites.
From 1968 to 1970, he was employed by Stern and Bell based at Warstock Lane also in the second city where he manufactured equipment for launching explosives off the back of ships. Until 1978 he was was employed by Down and Francis Limited in Kings Norton and where he also installed fire escapes and overhead conveyors at Longbridge.
From 1978 to 1980 he worked for Kings Insulation based in Coventry where he installed the first overhead computerised conveyors at the Lode Lane Land Rover site in Solihull. It is understood asbestos was widely used as insulation, especially in the roof spaces at the industrial premises at these sites.
Hayley Hill, a workplace illness expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office, representing Mrs Clark, urged anyone who worked with Mr Clark during the dates given and had information about the presence of asbestos and working practices of the companies involved to come forward.
Anyone with any information should email email@example.com or call 0870 1500 100.
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