A former BT Building Contract Manager has died shortly after commencing BT engineer mesothelioma work claims action against his former employers.
Derek Butler (74) from Weston in Somerset was found to be suffering from mesothelioma cancer earlier this year – an industrial disease caused by exposure to asbestos. At the inquest into his death, Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing heard from consultant physician Dr Justin Pepperell, who confirmed Mr Butler had died as a result of the illness malignant mesothelioma.
The court was also read a statement prepared by Derek prior to his death in which he (Derek) explained that he had worked for British telecommunications from 1967 and, in 1980, had been promoted to the position of Building Contract Manager. The new role included the preparation and remodelling of buildings which were transferring from mechanical to electrical telephone systems.
Although Derek´s major responsibility was in the planning of the remodelling, his work involved an element of on-site supervision. While on-site Derek was exposed to cables coated in asbestos and, despite the presence of plastic sheets, a significant volume of dust fibres were released into the atmosphere because of the scale of the project. This continued until Derek´s retirement in 1996.
The inquest was also told that Derek had commenced a BT engineer mesothelioma work claims action after his condition had been attributed to his exposure to asbestos while working for BT and, summing up the hearing, Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing said: “Mr Butler did not work directly with asbestos but when working with BT and working with buildings which were remodelled it was likely he was exposed to asbestos during that work. I accept the medical cause of death as being one due to industrial disease.”