‘the silent killer’ of dad david

David Bugler
David Bugler

A 61-year-old taxi driver died after spending years being exposed to asbestos while working for Scarborough coach builders Plaxton.

David Bugler, of The Meadows in Newby, died at home from a tumour in his lung.

An inquest at Scarborough County Court heard Mr Bugler had spent more than 10 years without protection working alongside the deadly substance.

Mr Bugler, who has been described by his daughter Louise as a “lovely man, who was very popular in the town”, did not work directly with asbestos himself, but worked close enough to those who did, and in an unventilated environment, for it to have its devastating effect.

Before he died in August last year, Mr Bugler wrote a statement summarising his career and pinpointing when he had come into contact with asbestos while working as a finisher at the old Plaxton factory in Seamer Road, and also while working as a fisherman in the 1980s.

The statement was read during the inquest by deputy coroner John Broadbridge. It read: “I did come in to contact with asbestos when I worked on the fishing boats as they used to line the exhausts with asbestos, however I only went in the engine room on the very odd occasion.

“I was exposed to asbestos when I worked at Plaxton from 1966. The factory was huge, and I was employed in the finishing shop, which was about the size of a football pitch and would house 18 coaches at one time.

“My job was fitting windscreens in the front and rear of the coaches, and I would work close by other finishers doing different jobs.

“The engine cowls were made with an asbestos lining. If they did not fit properly the finishers had to cut or file them to size. This used to throw up a lot of dust which I would breathe in.

“There was also a bandsaw which people had to queue to use. While standing in the queue there would often be someone using the bandsaw to cut asbestos sheets, creating a lot of dust in the air.

“I also believe the battery box – turn to page 4

made from an asbestos like material. I used to work under the coaches and sometimes I would have to shift the battery box to get to the U Bolts. There would always be lots of dust. I also often worked alongside people drilling and fitting the battery boxes.”

In his statement Mr Bugler said the factory floor was swept daily and that workers used compressed air to hose themselves down, both of which would create a lot of dust which was unavoidably inhaled.

Medical reports from two experts were also read during the inquest.

They revealed no fibres of asbestos were found in Mr Buglers lungs, however they type of tumour he suffered is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos, which the deputy coroner deemed was consistent with what Mr Bugler had said in his statement.

After examining all the evidence Mr Broadbridge recorded a verdict that Mr Bugler died due an industrial disease.

Mr Bugler’s inquest was attended by his daughter Louise and her mother Jennifer. Mr Bugler also had another daughter, Sarah, and four grandchildren.