The family of a Lincolnshire rigger and labourer who died just a fortnight of his cancer diagnosis are calling on his former colleagues to help identify working conditions that could have led to his illness.

Edward Smith, 81, from Grimsby, died in April 2017 of mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer affecting the lining of the lungs.

Mr Smith worked at Humber Graving Dock between 1961 and 1983 before starting at Humber Ship Repairers, where he worked until 1986. He would often assist the boilermakers and pipefitters removing asbestos lagging.

“I remember as a child he’d come home covered in dust, and me and my brother would help pat him down to try and get it off,” said Paula Shambrook, his eldest daughter. “None of us had any idea how dangerous this was.”

When the great grandfather-of-three began losing weight and struggling to eat and drink, he went to hospital where tests confirmed he had lung cancer. It wasn’t until the family received the coroner’s report that he was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Edward Smith worked at Humber Graving Dock from 1961-1983, where it is thought he was exposed to asbestos

“He was always a fit man,” Ms Shambrook continued. “He had a big garden he’d always tend to and walked the dog every day, until one day he just couldn’t anymore. We all put it down to his age. We had no idea it was anything to do with asbestos.”

"Asbestos continues to cause many individuals and families devastation, and sadly we expect the number to keep rising. Please get in touch as soon as possible if you are able to share any information or memories of Edward."

Paul Corrin, senior asbestos disease solicitor

After Mr Smith’s diagnosis, the family instructed asbestos specialists Thompsons Solicitors to investigate an asbestos disease claim.

“If anyone has any information, however small or insignificant you may think it is, please get in touch with us as soon as possible,” Ms Shambrook said.

Paul Corrin, who is representing the family, said: “Asbestos continues to cause many individuals and families devastation, and sadly we expect the number to keep rising.

“Please get in touch as soon as possible if you are able to share any information or memories of Edward, and how he may have been exposed to asbestos whilst at Humber Graving or Humber Ship Repairers.”

Anyone with information should call Paul Corrin as a matter of urgency on 0113 367 7423 or email PaulCorrin@thompsons.law.co.uk.