Alan’s Story

The JIB is running an industry-wide campaign to help raise awareness of asbestosis and related diseases, thanks to the contribution of JIB member and ECA past president Alan North of AS North Ltd who sadly passed away in November 2013.

Asbestos is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK, with on average 20 tradesmen per week dying from asbestos exposure.

It’s a disease that will undoubtedly affect thousands of people across the electrical industry.

Unfortunately those who have worked – knowingly or unknowingly – with asbestos during their working life may ignore the symptoms and simply attribute them to older age or other chest problems.

In March 2013, Alan was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a type of cancer caused by asbestos. In our short video Alan, made in July this year, Alan explains the symptoms he suffered and his experiences since his diagnosis.

Whatever stage you’re at in your career, Alan's story will have meaning. Please take five minutes to watch and share with colleagues.

Where to find help and support …

Guidance for asbestos disease sufferers and their families

National Asbestos Helpline
Set up specifically to help people through the difficult process of dealing with an asbestos-related illness. Through their hands-on approach they will support you and your family by providing expert financial, legal, emotional and practical support and advice.

The national charity supporting people in the electrical industry through life's challenges. The charity provides practical and emotional support through its helpline and financial assistance when circumstances make life difficult.

Where to look next…

Fact sheets and information on working with asbestos

Health & Safety Executive Comprehensive information and fact sheets on working with asbestos, plus health and safety advice and guidance so those who may be exposed to asbestos know what to do to protect themselves and others.

British Lung Foundation
‘Take 5 and Stay Alive’ is designed to raise awareness about asbestos amongst tradespeople, ensure they have access to the information they need to be able to identify it and assess whether they have the training and equipment to deal with it safely.

What can we learn from Alan’s story?