A former railroad worker, who had to spend nearly 27 years dealing with dangerous asbestos material, has died after developing an industrial disease.
Harry Roome, who was a Warwick Ave. (Derby) resident, died last month after fighting a long disease and shortness of breathing. Roome was 83 years old. He worked at the Derby Litchurch Lane Works (formerly Derby Carriage & Wagon Works) between 1945 until 1948. Mr. Roome was a body building trainer there.
Asbestos, a dangerous carcinogen, was regularly sprayed on every carriage for protecting them from unfavorable weather conditions. Roome had told his friends and family members that sprayed asbestos particles covered the entire area like snow.
A short time was there when Roome worked in the Royal Navy (RN) as cook (from 1948 until 1955). There he wasn’t exposed to the lethal dust. However, after leaving navy, he returned to British Rail and worked there until 1966. Asbestos exposure was inevitable there.
Roome left the railroad industry in 1966 and started working in the construction field in Derby. Then he had to deal with the redevelopment and demolition of many council houses. Roome was exposed to asbestos fibers during this job as well. Asbestos was a very common construction material before the 1960s, the court of the South Derbyshire Coroner heard.
Terrence, the son of Mr. Roome, said his father was very practical all through his employment. Terrence says Roome should have breathed in the hazardous particles of asbestos on a regular basis.
Terrence said nobody was aware then of how toxic those particles were. He said no health & safety rules had been established then for protecting workers like Mr. Roome. He said not only his father, but all other workers like him would have inhaled the deadly fibers of asbestos regularly during their job with the railroad company.
Post-mortem examination was conducted by Dr. Andrew Hitchcock and it was found that he had developed cancer because of his industrial exposure to asbestos. Hitchcock said he found asbestos particles in Mr. Roome’s lung tissue even without performing any special tests, which is generally required to determine asbestos exposure. He said there was infection in Roome’s airways. Additionally, a tumor was there in his lungs, Hitchcock said. He said Roome would have struggled very much for breathing properly due to his condition prior to his death.
Louise Pinder, the deputy coroner, recorded a death verdict due to an industrial disease.