Man died more than 30 years after breathing deadly dust in Norwich factory

Fred Goodson

Fred Goodson - Credit: Archant

A 'very active' man who worked as a Tesco shelf-stacker well into his 70s was killed more than three decades after breathing in deadly dust.

Fred Goodson, of Spixworth Road, Horsham St Faith, kept busy on his allotment and his family said he had never been ill before.

But when he returned from a family holiday in 2012 feeling breathless, he was diagnosed with an industrial disease caused by exposure to asbestos.

He died on September 24 this year aged 78, with the medical cause of death given as pneumonia caused by mesothelioma - a type of cancer.

Mesothelioma usually develops more than 20 years after the initial exposure to asbestos, and is difficult to diagnose until it has reached an advanced stage.


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Most people diagnosed with mesothelioma will die within three years of being diagnosed, and the average person survives for around 12 months.

The Norwich City season ticket holder had worked at the Boulton and Paul steelworks in Norwich from 1968 to 1981, an inquest heard yesterday.

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A statement written by Mr Goodson before his death was read out at the hearing.

It had been submitted to his solicitors as part of a compensation claim against his former employers, in legal proceedings which are still ongoing.

Mr Goodson alleged that his work at Boulton and Paul included cutting metal girders that were coated in asbestos, that the substance was contained in the roof and walls of the factory in Riverside Road, and that there were no dust masks.

'At the end of a shift I was absolutely covered in dust,' the statement, written in February 2013, said.

He added that his overalls would be so covered in dust that his wife had to shake them out before washing them.

Mr Goodson had gone to Timber Hill walk-in centre in Norwich when he returned from a holiday to Disney World in Florida, and was referred to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N).

Doctors found his right lung had collapsed, and that he had developed mesothelioma.

His son Ian said he was able to lead a normal life for some months after the diagnosis, but was receiving palliative care at Priscilla Bacon Lodge, in Unthank Road, when he died.

'He never took a tablet in his life, then he ended up on about 10 and in horrendous pain,' said Ian. 'He wasn't ill until this.

'He had an allotment and was very active.

'It's a sudden thing with rapid changes.'

His family is warning people of the dangers of mesothelioma - with around 2,300 people killed by the disease in the UK each year - and urging employers not to put workers at risk by exposing them to asbestos.

Jacqueline Lake, senior coroner for Norfolk, concluded that Mr Goodson died of the industrial disease of mesothelioma.

She added: 'There's evidence of much contact with asbestos while at work with Boulton and Paul.'

The family of Mr Goodson - who had read the Evening News every day - are also keen to hear from people who worked at Boulton and Paul and have been affected by the disease, or their relatives.

To be put in touch, send your name and contact number to samuel.russell@archant.co.uk

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