Sussex

Paul Tilcock's fumes death 'must never be repeated'

Stacey and Joe Tilcock
Image caption Stacey Tilcock says she and her son, Joe, have been left without a loving husband and dad

A widow whose husband died after being overcome by fumes from a lethal chemical says employers must ensure such a death never happens again.

Stacey Tilcock's husband, Paul, 30, was found dead on a bathroom floor he was laying in 2015 while wearing a face mask that was deemed inadequate.

His employer and the supplier were fined heavily for failing to establish the full dangers of using the product.

The floor adhesive is no longer used following a safety review.

Mrs Tilcock, from Brighton, says she and her nine-year-old son, Joe, have both since had mental-health problems and her husband's bosses deserved their £250,000 fine.

She said: "It shouldn't have happened and hopefully, it won't happen to anyone else either."

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Mrs Tilcock says her son, Joe, has suffered anxiety since his father's death

Mr Tilcock, described as an experienced worker, was found by the customer on the floor at a house in Mitcham, south London, in September 2015.

His employer, Ewell-based T Brown Group, was fined at Westminster Magistrates' Court last month after admitting breaching a section of the Health and Safety at Work Act relating to the care of its employees.

Altro Ltd, of Letchworth, Herts, admitted a separate breach of failing to ensure the supply of products that were safe and was fined £500,000.

Mrs Tilcock, 42, was told of his death that night when police called at her door.

Image caption Stacey Tilcock wants employers to be more vigilant about products used by their staff

She said: "We're without a husband and dad."

And she urged employers: "Always make your employees' health and safety the most important thing you can do. We have to go through this every single day."

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive, which brought the action, said Mr Tilcock's face mask was inadequate to protect him from the fumes from the potentially lethal dichloromethane contained in the Altrofix.

T Brown Group acknowledged its initial safety assessment was based on "inadequate" information and said it had stopped using the product.

Altro said it halted sales of the product immediately after Mr Tilcock's death and it was no longer sold.

Image caption Joe Tilcock says there is no number that can quantify how much he misses his father

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