Plea for information after Sheffield man’s asbestos death

Keith Furniss died from mesothelioma
Keith Furniss died from mesothelioma

The partner of a Sheffield man who died from asbestos-related cancer is appealing for help about how he breathed in the deadly dust.

Keith Furniss, from Walkley, died nearly two years ago aged 72, just a month after his diagnosis.

He told his partner Glenis he remembered working with asbestos during his career at steelworks Jessop-Saville and at Sheffield Corporation.

Glenis, 57, has now instructed specialist lawyers at legal firm Irwin Mitchell, who are seeking information about the working conditions at the two sites.

She said: “We were absolutely devastated when doctors said Keith was suffering from mesothelioma and that he had just a few weeks left.

“I don’t think I’ll ever get over his life being cut short so suddenly in such a terrible way.

“I’ve lost my soul mate to this illness and that’s why I’m determined to find out more about how he came to be exposed to asbestos and why.”

Simone Hardy, from Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office, said: “Unfortunately, we know very little about the roles Keith did.

“However, we hope that his former colleagues can help shed some light on the working conditions he endured and the asbestos exposure that ultimately led to his death.

“Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer and causes so much distress to victims like Keith and their families.

“Sadly, many employers did not do enough to manage the risks of asbestos exposure despite knowing how dangerous it is.

“People have the right to work in a safe environment without the risk of illness.

“We hope that our investigations can finally help Glenis obtain the justice that she deserves in Keith’s memory.”

Keith first showed the effects of mesothelioma around Christmas 2010, complaining of flu-like symptoms.

He twice needed to have fluid drained from his lungs, and was diagnosed in summer 2011, dying just one day after being admitted to St Luke’s Hospice in Whirlow.

An inquest last year found he was a victim of asbestos exposure.

n Anyone with information about how Keith came into contact with asbestos is asked to email or call 0114 2744420.