An ex-electrician’s mate and labourer has issued an appeal for people who worked alongside him to come forward with information about the conditions of his workplace after doctors diagnosed him with the asbestos related cancer Mesothelioma.
David Collier, 84, from Pontypool, South Wales visited his GP in late 2018 after finding he had issues with his breathing, further to which a camera insertion into his chest revealed three lumps.
In November 2018, he was given the devastating diagnosis of Mesothelioma.
As part of his treatment, David received five days radiotherapy treatment in one day in December 2018 before undergoing chemotherapy to reduce the tumour at the start of January 2019. He is recovering at home. David’s chemotherapy treatment was put on hold due to the fact he felt so unwell after the radiotherapy and no further treatment is scheduled to take place.
David is now appealing for anyone he worked with throughout his career at Treng Electrical and/or the ICI Fibres facility to help him gather the facts, or who may have some knowledge of asbestos at the site and has instructed leading Industrial Disease Solicitors, Simpson Millar, to help him establish where and when his exposure to asbestos took place, and whether it could have been prevented.
David said, “My family and I are devastated at my diagnosis. I’ve always been fit and healthy for my age having cycled long distances for most of my life, and it came completely out of the blue.
“My wife died years ago and so my daughter who lives close by comes over for three hours a day to help me clean and cook but she has blood clots in her leg and has to be careful. I also have to get help from my sister who has to do all the driving for me, to hospitals and for all medical appointments which is probably between 50 and 60 miles for around five appointments each time.
"I was never warned of the dangers of asbestos, and was never provided with any protective gear against asbestos materials in my job. I’m desperate now for answers as to why more wasn’t done to protect us and would urge any of my ex-colleagues, or other people who worked at the site, to come forward with information that might help."
Between 1979 and 1982, David worked for Treng Electrical at the ICI factory in Usk Road, Pontypool, where he recalls working in a team of 12 installing aluminium cable trays to be suspending from the roof to house all electrical cables.
It was here that ICI employees would strip out old spinning machines and install new machines and, as all the pipework at the premises was suspected to be lagged with asbestos, while the old machinery was being pulled out the air would constantly be filled with dust and asbestos fibres.
David recalls these conditions being prevalent for the entire period of his employment of two years.
Simon Rosser, a specialist disease litigation Solicitor at Simpson Millar, who is representing Mr Collier in his battle for answers said, “We are looking to speak to anyone who worked at Treng Electrical or ICI Fibres between 1979 and 1982 to gain an understanding of the working conditions and relevant safety procedures in place during the time that would have protected staff from exposure to the harmful asbestos fibres and dust.
"Mr Collier is very unwell due to his illnesses, and we hope to be able to secure him some answers as to why he was exposed to asbestos, and to also secure a care package that will provide some financial security for him and his family whilst he struggles with his condition."
Specialist Disease Litigation Solicitor
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