Banbury ‘Tip Top’ Bakery worker died after asbestos poisoning from gloves

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A FORMER bakery worker was killed by asbestos after being exposed to it in a pair of safety gloves in the 1970s.

Kevin Manley, 61 from Banbury, had worked in offices and factories throughout his life, and in the 1970s was employed at the Tip Top bakery, which provided baked goods for supermarkets.

It was at this time that he believed he was exposed to asbestos from heat-proof gloves.

Mr Manley died of respiratory failure in February, at Katherine House Hospice, having been referred there after suffering shortness of breath due to contracting epithelioid mesothelioma, a condition related to asbestos poisoning.

He also suffered a collapsed right lung from a tumour.

At an inquest at Oxford Coroner’s Court on Wednesday, coroner Nicholas Graham read out to the court evidence that connected Mr Manley to asbestos exposure at the bakery.

Mr Manley, who lived in Hempton Road, worked with an industrial oven while he was working at the bakery.

His job was to make sure there was the correct number of tins ready for the bread mixture which would then go into an industrial oven.

To prevent burning, he was equipped with heat-proof safety gloves made from asbestos.

The coroner’s court heard that Mr Manley’s manager at the time had told him that while the gloves were made from asbestos, they were not dangerous because the substance was in cloth form.

He worked with the gloves for 20-minute slots in 10-hour shifts and would swap with colleagues throughout the day.

The workforce all shared the same gloves and it is unknown how often these gloves were changed or renewed.

There were no warnings in the workplace about exposure to asbestos.

Mr Manley also worked in offices and as a quality examiner for electrical items and was exposed to high temperatures.

However, it is believed he was not exposed to asbestos through over work, and only came into contact with the substance while working at the bakery.

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The coroner, Mr Graham, concluded the cause of Mr Manley’s death to be industrial disease due to evidence of working with and being exposed to asbestos during his working life.

A toxicology report stated Mr Manley’s medical cause of death as epithelioid mesothelioma.

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