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Widow of Suffolk welder appeals to former colleagues for help

The widow of a retired welder from Bury St Edmunds is seeking answers about why her husband’s former employer, Stanref International Ltd, allowed him to be exposed to deadly asbestos during his employment.

Betty Spriggs is appealing to her husband’s former colleagues for any information they have about the working conditions they experienced at the Bury St Edmunds factory.

Mr Cyril Spriggs, 83, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in March 2016 and died less than three months later.

At his inquest on 18 July 2016, Dr D Sharpstone, assistant coroner for Suffolk, concluded that Mr Spriggs’ death was due to the industrial disease mesothelioma. The only known cause is exposure to asbestos.

Known as Bob to his colleagues, Mr Spriggs spent his early life working for the Post Office before joining local company Component Parts Limited as a welder in 1973. They were later taken over by Stanref International Ltd and he remained working at their factory in Bury St Edmunds factory until he retired in 1989.

In the past, welders used asbestos welding gloves but also handled welding rods, which were coated in an asbestos covering. It is believed that the coating crumbled releasing asbestos into the air.

Mrs Spriggs has instructed expert industrial disease lawyers Hodge Jones & Allen to investigate the way in which her husband was exposed to asbestos dust. She would also like to establish whether Mr Spriggs’ former employers could have done more to protect him from the lethal substance.

Andrew James, asbestos and mesothelioma compensation specialist at Hodge Jones and Allen, who is representing Mrs Spriggs, said: “Mr Spriggs died because his employers exposed him to asbestos at work and failed to protect him from the deadly dust. Clearly, this should not have happened given that the dangers of asbestos were well known at the time of his employment.”

Mrs Spriggs would like anyone with any information to contact Andrew James at Hodge Jones & Allen on 020 7874 8458 or email ajames@hja.net.