Hinkley under fire over asbestos death

A CORONER has slammed bosses at a nuclear power plant for showing a 'blatant disregard' for their employees after allowing them to be exposed to asbestos. The comments were made at the inquest into the death of a Highbridge man who died of asbestos expos

A CORONER has slammed bosses at a nuclear power plant for showing a 'blatant disregard' for their employees after allowing them to be exposed to asbestos. The comments were made at the inquest into the death of a Highbridge man who died of asbestos exposure after working at Hinkley Point A in the 1960s.Roger Prideaux, aged 61, died in March and his inquest was held in Bridgwater last week. Coroner Michael Rose said: "There was a time when there were one or two cases like this a year, but now I have about 15. I think we are coming to the peak in asbestos cases. "The dangers of asbestos were known by the end of World War Two and Hinkley has obviously shown a blatant disregard for its employees."Roger's widow, Linda Prideaux, struggled to hold back tears as she told the court about her husband's work at Hinkley. She said: "Roger hung asbestos on the walls and ceilings. He was never given any protective clothing to my knowledge and he never mentioned any."He left Hinkley in 1970 to become a self-employed electrician and never worked at the plant again. While he was self-employed he never came into contact with asbestos, but when he worked at Hinkley in the 60s it wasn't the taboo subject it is now."My husband was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in December and died a few months later. He was never ill and never took a day off work. He was a very fit man."People who suffer from asbestos exposure often do not feel the effects of it for 20-40 years. Once the disease is detected, there is a rapid decline in a victim's health and little doctors can do to help. Mr Rose added: "This is the second case of this disease I have heard from Hinkley today. We have heard stories of people throwing asbestos around like snowballs."I extend my deepest sympathies to the family of Mr Prideaux. It was an early age for him to be taken from us. If the authorities had released what was going on sooner, it would never have happened.


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