Man whose life has been ‘devastated’ by disease warns firms to keep workers safe from potentially deadly material

Wyndham Chamberlain, from St Neots. Picture: CONTRIBUTED.

Wyndham Chamberlain, from St Neots. Picture: CONTRIBUTED. - Credit: Archant

A St Neots man who says his life has been “devastated” by the effects of an asbestos-related cancer is urging all employers to take measures to protect their staff from the potentially deadly material.

Wyndham Chamberlain, 75, was diagnosed with lung cancer and possible early asbestosis in October 2016 after struggling with symptoms for several months.

Following his diagnosis, he instructed specialist lawyers at firm Irwin Mitchell to help him gain answers, based on his belief that the illness could be linked to his time working at an industrial site in St Neots between 1973 and 1998.

Now, after the legal experts secured him an admission of liability from the company regarding his illness, he is marking Lung Cancer Awareness Month by calling on employers to ensure they do everything they can to keep workers protected from asbestos.

He said: “Looking back at my time there, I remember how the boiler house in particular was always so dusty. I had to change air filters on the compressors regularly and this blew dust everywhere, while I was also responsible for replacing steam joints and pipes which were covered and lagged in asbestos.

“Throughout my time there I was never warned of the dangers of asbestos or provided with any real protection. In the final few years paper masks were available but it was never made a fundamental requirement to use them.

“I’m devastated to have been told I have this illness but getting this admission of liability and some answers regarding how my illness emerged has provided some comfort. Asbestos has had a devastating impact on my life, so I only hope my story will remind employers of the importance of keeping their workers safe from the material.”

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Mr Chamberlain worked on boilers and as a general handyman during his time at the industrial site at St Neots.

Samantha Shaw, the legal expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Cambridge office who is representing Mr Chamberlain, said: “This is a devastating story which demonstrates how the true impact of asbestos exposure can often only become clear many years after initial contact with the material has taken place.

“While we are delighted to have secured this admission of liability for our client, we are now completely focused on ensuring we can get him the justice he deserves regarding this illness.”