A man who worked for Hull City Council has died of an asbestos-related illness, a court has heard.
74-year-old Kenneth Mann, who lived in Hull, passed away on 3rd December after developing mesothelioma in February last year.
Mr Mann had worked on the Hull docks and, from 1965 to 1980 worked as a maintenance worker for Hull City Council.
A post-mortem confirmed that the cancer had developed as a result of exposure to asbestos during his working life.
Hull Coroner’s Court heard yesterday (2nd March) that Mr Mann believed he had inhaled asbestos fibres through his job at the council.
In a written statement, he said: “I believe I had a lot of exposure to asbestos while working for the council.
“We used to come into contact with asbestos covering garage roofs and drainpipes, and we used to have to pull them off.
“I remember doing a job in the basement of the Guildhall, and we were asked to clear the asbestos lagging off the drain pipes and clean it up.
“There was no extraction and there was no ventilation, it was a very dirty environment.
“I was never given any personal protective gear or warned about the risks of coming into contact with asbestos. I was never given any training.”
He also gave details of the repair and general maintenance work he was involved in whilst working for the council, saying that he used to demolish garage roofs as well as drainpipes which were known to be covered in asbestos insulation.
“All I remember is the lagging,” he said.
“When I was working there would always be dirt and dust in the air, which I would breathe in, and this is what I did a lot in my work in the 1970s.
“After we had knocked down and broken the garage roofs we then put them in bins ourselves.
“This meant we would be picking them up and carrying bits covered in asbestos.
“I did this throughout my employment.”
Area coroner Rosemary Baxter concluded that Mr Mann had died as the result of an industrial disease.
A Hull City Council spokesman said: “Health and safety procedures have changed dramatically since the 1970s, and due to the passage of time, no investigation was possible, however the claim made was settled swiftly.
“We express great sympathy for Mr Mann’s family.”
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. Found mainly in the lungs, the illness occurs when toxic chemicals create a thickening of the lining of the lungs (the pleura) and this then develops into a tumor.
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