A FORMER engineer who believes he developed an asbestos-related lung cancer after working as a contractor at Woolworths stores is appealing for ex-colleagues to come forward to help investigate reports of exposure to the deadly dust.
Asbestos-related disease experts at a local law firm are investigating concerns about asbestos exposure at Cosmopolitan Machinery Sales and Servicing Ltd in Harrogate, whose biggest contract was with Woolworths, and Andrews Industrial Equipment Ltd in Sedgefield.
Brian Oram, 69, of Hutton Henry, near Hartlepool, was diagnosed with the fatal disease mesothelioma in April 2012, which he believes was caused by exposure to asbestos at the companies and says he was ‘devastated’ when he heard about his illness.
Brian said: “I spent every day for five years working in boiler houses at either Woolworths stores, which was Cosmopolitan’s biggest contract, or smaller Presto and Hintons shops.
“I remember walking around amongst the asbestos debris while servicing the boilers and burners and cleaning the flues. I would be covered in the powdery dust.”
Brian was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung caused by asbestos exposure, in April this year.
He said: “Knowing that I have a terminal condition is hard to come to terms with, particularly as my prognosis is uncertain. I know I am unlikely to be here in five years and this diagnosis has changed my whole life and those of my partner, children and grandchildren.”
Isobel Lovett, an asbestos-related disease specialist at the law firm, said: “We are keen to hear from people who either worked with him at Cosmopolitan Machinery Sales and Servicing Limited and Andrews Industrial Equipment, or for these companies at the time.”