THE family of a Liversedge woman who died of an asbestos-related disease are marking Workers’ Memorial Day by calling for employers to not ignore their responsibilities when it comes to the material.

Mother-of-two Celia Brackenbury died aged 82 almost two years after she was diagnosed with mesothelioma – a cancer linked to asbestos exposure. An inquest held earlier this month at Wakefield Coroner’s Court concluded that she died from industrial disease.

Prior to her death last August, Celia instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how she developed mesothelioma, with the experts launching legal action alleging that exposure took place during her time working for British Belting and Asbestos (BBA) in Cleckheaton.

Her family are now continuing with the legal battle in her memory and have joined with Irwin Mitchell to call on employers to always put safety first where asbestos is concerned.

They have made the plea ahead of Workers’ Memorial Day on April 28, which is this year based around the theme of ‘dangerous substances: get them out of the workplace’.

Lucy Andrews, the specialist asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office who is acting for Celia’s family, said: “This is a truly terrible case which once again highlights the devastating consequences of asbestos exposure. "Celia’s death is perhaps made even more tragic by the fact that seven other members of her family all died as a result of asbestos-related conditions too.

“While asbestos is no longer used as a freely as it once was, this year’s Workers’ Memorial Day is an important time to reflect on the legacy of the material and why safety must always come first in the future."

Celia, who also has five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter, believed she was exposed to asbestos while working at BBA Cleckheaton between 1951 and 1960 as a comptometer operator.

Prior to her death, she outlined how the job at Scandinavia Mills in Cleckheaton involved working out the cost of everything made by the company and how she often had to go into production areas to seek further information. She also recalled the extensive presence of asbestos at the site.

Celia’s husband Donald, 82, said: “It was truly awful to see how mesothelioma affected Celia in the final years of her life and the entire family misses her so much. She was an incredible wife, mother and grandmother and not a day goes by when we do not think about her.

“Asbestos has touched Celia’s family so much down the years and it was hard to take that she herself was ultimately affected by it too.

“This year’s Workers’ Memorial Day and its theme on dangerous substances is very welcome as it is putting issues like asbestos firmly in the spotlight. This material should not be allowed to impact on other lives and employers need to ensure workers are protected from it.”

Workers’ Memorial Day campaigns to improve health and safety standards in the workplace, and increase protection in place for employees.