Many electricians were exposed to asbestos while working on industrial and commercial sites and on the construction and renovation of houses. Electrical switchboards were typically lined with an asbestos sheet, which had to be cut and drilled. Some electrical wiring was coated with asbestos.
Electricians often drilled through asbestos cement fibro sheets to provide access for cables and power points. Many electricians were exposed to asbestos from the activities of others, such as carpenters, cutting and fitting asbestos cement fibro sheets on houses or laggers installing insulation on pipe work.
Mr. H’s story is typical of the many electricians Turner Freeman has acted for. Mr. H left school in 1960 at the age of 16 years and commenced an apprenticeship as an electrician doing domestic, commercial and light industrial work installing electrical wiring, switchboards, light fittings and heaters.
The switchboards were lined with asbestos sheets that Mr. H cut and fitted. While installing wiring on houses Mr. H worked alongside carpenters who were cutting and fitting asbestos cement fibro sheets. Later, he drilled through the fibro sheets while installing lights and power points.
At the age of 54 Mr. H was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He instructed Turner Freeman to act for him.
His lawyer carried out extensive investigations including locating and speaking to various carpenters he worked with on sites. As a result we were able to establish the manufacturer of the asbestos cement fibro sheeting installed by the carpenters and proceedings were brought against the manufacturer. An urgent hearing was sought and the matter settled after Mr. H’s evidence was taken at his bedside.