Quedgeley man killed by asbestos exposure in the workplace

A coroner has ruled that a man died as a result of frequent exposure to deadly asbestos.

David Mills, was diagnosed with asbestos-related lung cancer in 2020.

He reported regularly coming into contact with the fibrous material at Royal Mail post office sites while working as an electrician.

A coroner ruled his cause of death was “industrial disease” after he passed away last year, aged 71.

Mr Mills first began working for South West Post (later taken over by Romec Ltd) in 1979 and his duties included electrical maintenance and installation.

Many Royal Mail sites where he worked, including Tewkesbury, Ross on Wye and Gloucester, were undergoing refits at the time and asbestos was present in ceiling and roof tiles, panels and fuse boxes.

Mr Mills took civil action against his former employers. In a statement he explained that the asbestos was disturbed while work was being completed and would form a ‘white powder’.

In addition Mr Mills stated that he often worked in confined spaces with no ventilation and without a facemask, as he was not informed of the dangers of the fibrous material.

His claim for compensation was eventually settled through solicitors.


At an inquest held on 14 December last year, area coroner Roland Wooderson ruled that Mr Mills’ mesothelioma cancer diagnosis was likely the result of asbestos inhalation over an extended period of time, from 1979 to 2011.

Professor Nick Maskell, of the Bristol Academic Respiratory Unit, said in a statement to the inquest that mesothelioma is caused almost invariably by asbestos exposure, and the risk of getting the disease increases with the amount of exposure.

“In my opinion, Mr Mills’ asbestos exposure at this company would have been enough to cause the development of mesothelioma and materially increase the risk that he would develop it,” Mr Maskell said.


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