Worker died after years of exposure to asbestos dust, inquest hears

Lawrence Court

Lawrence Court - Credit: Archant

A retired architectural technician who was exposed to asbestos during years of working on building sites died from an industrial disease, a coroner has ruled.

David Spetch, 72, had even been responsible for drawing up a survey for the removal of asbestos from a building, an inquest in Huntingdon heard.

In a statement written after his diagnosis, Mr Spetch told how he had regularly been in areas which were full of asbestos dust as fireproofing panels were cut to fit, but had not been given any safety advice or protection.

At Lawrence Court, in Huntingdon, senior coroner David Heming said the mesothelioma which caused Mr Spetch’s death was a result of him being exposed to the material during his working life.

He said there was a clear link between mesothelioma – a rare form of cancer - and exposure to asbestos, and expressed his condolences to Mr Spetch’s family.


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Mr Spetch, of Sparrowhawk Way, in Hartford, died at Hinchingbrooke Hospital on January 6 from metastatic mesothelioma, with diabetes being a secondary factor.

In his statement to the coroner, Mr Spetch told how he had been exposed to asbestos during a number of jobs starting in the 1960s where fitters were cutting up asbestos sheeting with power saws, creating dust.

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He said he often spent a third of his working life on site, including checking whether the building work was being carried out correctly.

“I was never given any warning of the danger of asbestos or protection to wear,” he said.

In his statement, Mr Spetch said he had been working at a hospital where pipes in a service tunnel had been lagged with asbestos which was in poor condition and falling off, made worse by steam leaking from a boiler which had blown some of the lagging off. He had carried out a survey for the removal of the asbestos.

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