Case study – jewellery makers
Turner Freeman has acted for a number of persons exposed to asbestos during the process of making jewellery, either as a hobby or as a profession. Below are some examples of cases we have successfully prosecuted.
Mrs. S learnt jewellery making as a hobby. She started making enamel brooches and then learnt how to make silver spoons and jewellery. While making silver jewellery Mrs. S carried out soldering on top of a thick asbestos sheet. She also used pieces of asbestos fibro sheets, which she broke off with her hands, to support her work while soldering. She placed the piece of fibro under the bowl of a spoon to ensure the handle was put on straight.
She also used asbestos rope to hold jewellery while soldering, threading the jewellery through the rope to hold it still while adding decorations. After the soldering she used an asbestos cloth to wipe dust off jewellery.
She also used asbestos gloves while handling hot instruments.
Mrs. S carried out her work in a laundry tub in a makeshift workshop at her home. Years later Mrs. S was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Turner Freeman investigated her claim and commenced proceedings against the manufacturers of the products Mrs. S used while making jewellery. Her claim was expedited and settled just prior to her giving evidence.
Mr. F worked in the jewellery trade all his life. He came into contact with asbestos when carrying out precious metal and non-ferrous metal casting. Asbestos paper lined the flasks used during the castings process. Asbestos powder was mixed with water to make a slurry and then packed around the carbon crucible used in the casting process to prevent the crucible from vaporising.
Mr. F handled the asbestos powder on a daily basis. He also wore asbestos gloves while taking the flasks out of the oven and placing them into the furnace and used an asbestos sheet for heat protection.
Thirty years later Mr. F was diagnosed with asbestosis. A few years later he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Turner Freeman acted for Mr. F in a claim against the manufacturers of the asbestos products he used. The claim settled at mediation.