Roofer’s fall from height leads to mesothelioma diagnosis

A fall from height led to a diagnosis of asbestos-related cancer for roofer Liam Bradley.

As they performed a surgical procedure to treat a collapsed lung, medics found traces of mesothelioma – despite Liam not having shown any symptoms.

Eighteen months on, the 31-year-old dad-of-one still doesn’t show symptoms of the deadly cancer, but he is urging employers across sectors to ensure they manage the risks of asbestos exposure, including using free resources provided by IOSH as part of its No Time to Lose occupational cancer campaign.

He said: “I have been told that I can be optimistic, that I can watch my daughter grow up. She’s only a toddler so that means a lot to me.

I know no one can promise me anything but I’m not dying next week or even next year, so the prognosis is good at the moment given I have mesothelioma.

I’m still feeling well mentally and physically. I can still play with my daughter and play football with friends.

Liam, of Swinderby, near Lincoln, had worked as a roofer since he was 17, moving up to a foreman role. It was in 2015 when he fell 30ft from a three-storey building, suffering a number of broken bones as well as a collapsed lung.

He said it is still unclear exactly where he was exposed to asbestos, adding it could have been on one of many sites.

He added: “On the refurbishments I worked on, there was nothing about asbestos, even though it was most likely present on some sites. It’s still the case these days, to my knowledge, people aren’t being given information.

More needs to be done, especially for the younger generation, for them to take asbestos seriously.

IOSH launched the fourth phase of its No Time to Lose campaign, focusing on asbestos, in April this year.

It has a collection of free resources for organisations for managing exposure to asbestos. Access our resource taster packs and register for our resources under Free resources.