Essex electrician killed by inhaling dust full of asbestos fibres

An electrician who began his career working in a factory filled with asbestos died as a result of mesothelioma, an inquest has heard.

65 year old John Pedder collapsed at his home in South Ockendon, as his wife helped him climb the stairs on May 27, Essex Live has reported.

Although paramedics were called they were unable to resuscitate him as there was a DNR in place, Essex Coroner’s Court heard today.

A post mortem examination carried out at Basildon Hospital gave a provisional cause of death as mesothelioma, a cancerous disease. Senior Coroner Eleanor McGann said;

“I turn to consider the work history of Mr Pedder to see whether or not this is a work related death.”

She considered a letter provided by Mr Pedder’s solicitors in which he wrote an account of his working life.  That same letter has also been filed at the High Court of Justice.

In April 1969, a year after he had become an apprentice electrician, Mr Pedder was sent to work for eight weeks at the Cape Asbestos factory in Barking.

That placement, which was his first job, saw him charged with taking down light fittings to exchange them.

Reading from Mr Pedder’s letter, Mrs McGann said:

“He had to climb the scaffolding which was covered in a thick layer of dust which must have contained asbestos.

Some times my face was level with the fittings and other times it was above my head. I had to tip the fittings towards me. This would cause the thick layer of dust to fall into his face and then over his body.”

Mrs McGann spoke of how Mr Pedder, who did not have anything to protect his face, would try to move out of the way of the dust but still breathed it in.

Mr Pedder’s letter also described how the dust was so thick he could see it floating in the air. Added Mrs McGann;

“He continued to come into contact with asbestos with his work. I have accepted the evidence of Mr Pedder and my conclusion is that John Frederick Pedder died as a result of an industrial disease, namely mesothelioma.”