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Former York Carriageworks man exposed to asbestos ‘daily’
A FORMER York Carriageworks employee was exposed to asbestos on a “daily basis”, an inquest heard.
John Phillip Wright, of Linden Way, York, contracted the asbestos-related disease mesothelioma after being repeatedly exposed to the deadly dust at the factory where he worked between 1950 and 1970.
Mr Wright died on October 4 last year in St Leonard’s Hospice, York, at the age of 77, after months of deteriorating health, his widow Pauline Wright, told the court in a written statement.
The inquest heard how Mr Wright had joined the carriageworks shortly before his 16th birthday as an apprentice coach bodymaker and repairer.
He worked on and off at the site until he left at the age of 37 to work for a brief spell at Leeds Council before joining City of York Council, where he stayed until he took early retirement at the age of 60.
Mr Wright was diagnosed with pleural thickening in 2001. He thought that was the extent of the asbestos disease that he would suffer, but the court heard that his health began to deteriorate in 2003 when he began to suffer heart problems which left to him having a pacemaker fitted.
In December 2010, an X-ray revealed tumours on his lungs and he was diagnosed with mesothelioma.
He was later admitted to St Leonard’s Hospice, on Tadcaster Road, York, where he later died.
A cause of death was given as malignant mesothelioma.
Before he died, Mr Wright told Corries Solicitors how he often worked in a dusty environment in different parts of the factory with no protective clothing or facemask.
He also said in a statement that he was exposed to asbestos dust on a “daily basis”.
He said he often spotted “a fine blue, grey haze” and could see bigger pieces of asbestos floating in the air, he said.
He recalled one occasion when a “blob of asbestos” dropped into a colleague’s coffee.
York Coroner Donald Coverdale recorded a verdict that Mr Wright died of the industrial disease malignant mesothelioma, a form of cancer most frequently caused by exposure to asbestos.
The family’s solicitor, Howard Bonnett, of Corries Solicitor, said: “This is yet another sad case of a former carriage works man dying prematurely.
“Mr Wright had assumed that pleural thickening was the extent of his asbestos disease and that he would enjoy a full and long retirement with his wife, Pauline. Regrettably this has not been the case.”
The Press reported earlier this year how at least 140 former York carriageworks employees and their relatives have now been killed by asbestos.