Appeal launched as part of new asbestos probe

Cancer-stricken Swinton man John Hartley Mason.
Cancer-stricken Swinton man John Hartley Mason.

PEOPLE who worked at a factory in Doncaster as long as five decades ago are being urged to come forward as part of an investigation into a former employee who was diagnosed with an asbestos-related cancer.

John Hartley Mason, 77, from Swinton, was diagnosed with cancer of the lung lining, mesothelioma, in March this year and is currently being treated at Rotherham General Hospital.

Solicitors at Irwin Mitchell are now conducting an investigation into working conditions at his former employer Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI).

Mr Mason worked for ICI, which was based on Wheatley Hall Road in Doncaster, between 1966 to 1967 and again between 1974 and 1975 as a fitter in the Draw Twist Department.

Irwin Mitchell claimed it is believed he was exposed to asbestos during these two periods when others were performing maintenance work on the steam pipes which ran through the premises and which were lagged with asbestos.

The law firm are now appealing for anyone who worked at the firm in the 1960s or 70s to come forward as witnesses as they attempt to establish the levels of asbestos exposure to Mr Mason during his time at the company.

Helen Ashton, a Partner in the Industrial Illness team at Irwin Mitchell, said: “We have represented a number or former employees from ICI/British Nylon Spinners who have developed asbestos illnesses as a result of their exposure to asbestos at the company and we are appealing for any former colleagues who knew and worked alongside Mr Mason to come forward to assist with the legal claim by providing further details about the working processes and asbestos in the premises.

“Mesothelioma is an exceptionally aggressive form of cancer and can cause considerable pain and suffering to its victims and their families.

“About 2000 people a year are developing this disease after being exposed to asbestos decades earlier, through no fault of their own.

“We would urge anybody who worked at ICI between 1966 and 1975, or indeed anyone who thinks they may have any relevant information about the company’s work processes at this time to come forward and help with our investigations.”