The tragic case of Brian Peter Germaney highlights the tragic fact that asbestos-related disease affects many industries and thousands of lives.
Mr Germaney worked at Consolidated Fisheries Ltd in Grimsby for around 28 years, mainly on the trawlers.
At his inquest, the coroner heard that he was not given a mask or warned of the dangers of asbestos at his work. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma on August 22nd last year, and he died four months later.
The coroner heard evidence of the dangerous work practices Mr Germaney and his colleagues were exposed to during their time working on the trawlers. Many of them ripped asbestos lagging from pipes with their bare hands and mixed paste with bags of asbestos emptied into buckets. They regularly swept up the asbestos dust. In addition, they were exposed to the material daily even taking overalls home to wash, leading to the risk of their families encountering the deadly substance.
Secondary exposure to asbestos leads to death of trawler engineer’s wife
In June 2016, an inquest heard how Margaret Maggs died of peritoneal mesothelioma. The coroner concluded that Mrs Maggs used to wash her husband’s overalls which were “filthy” with dust.
Colin Maggs worked as an engineer in the trawler industry. A statement read to the coroner, written by Mrs Maggs in 2008 stated:
"From 1967 to 1970, I was still living at home but seeing Colin nearly every day. He would come for lunch at my parent's home, and he was still in his overalls.
"He would keep them on, during which time we would spend about an hour together.
"He did not have a washing machine in his bungalow, so I took his overalls and some of the other clothes back to my parents' home to wash them".
The statement added: "He only washed his overalls once every couple of weeks and they were absolutely filthy by that stage".
I remember laying them on the floor and trying to brush them with a yard brush to try and get some of the dirt off before washing them.
Mrs Maggs also explained how she used to travel in the same car as her husband while he was wearing his overalls.
The coroner concluded that Mrs Maggs had died of an industrial disease.