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Appeal For West Yorkshire Road Car Company Workers In Asbestos Investigation

Widow Of Harrogate Man Seeks His Former Colleagues



The widow of a Harrogate man, who died from an asbestos related lung cancer, is calling for his former colleagues from West Yorkshire Road Car Company to come forward and help with an investigation into reports of asbestos exposure at the firm.

Mr Thomas Hainsworth was diagnosed with Mesothelioma in November 2008.  He sadly passed away as a result of this less than a month later, at the age of 77.

His widow, Mrs Hainsworth, 74, is now appealing for his former colleagues to come forward from Harrogate & District Travel Ltd (previously known as West Yorkshire Road Car Company Ltd) with information on the working conditions. Many of the workers may have worked with asbestos, or been in close proximity to where asbestos was being used in the course of building and maintaining Bus Coaches at their premises in Harrogate between 1945 and 1996. 

Mr Hainsworth, a former coach trimmer worked on the building of Bus Coaches for the company’s own use.  It is believed that he was exposed to asbestos dust and fibres as a consequence of being based in close proximity to other tradesmen and mechanics handling asbestos when they were maintaining the buses.

Mr Hainsworth was never provided with a facemask or warned that inhaling the asbestos dust and fibres emitted could lead to the contraction of such a lethal disease.    

Mrs Hainsworth said: “I remember my husband as being a loving husband, father and grandfather who had been looking forward to celebrating 50 years of marriage but sadly died two months before the planned celebrations.”

Ben Mitchell, an industrial illness expert at the Leeds office of Irwin Mitchell is representing Mrs Hainsworth and urging anyone who may be able to assist to come forward. He said: “Mesothelioma is a devastating form of incurable cancer that is extremely quick and aggressive from the time the symptoms first come on, to the date of death.

“Unfortunately because the disease has such a long incubation period from when someone first ingests asbestos dust to when the disease first surfaces and the subsequent legal claim is made against their past employers, this can cause significant problems.  20 – 30 years after the employment in question, the company may no longer be trading, the premises closed down, or the work force have moved on.  Therefore trying to find witnesses can be extremely difficult.

“We urge anyone who may have information about the company or working conditions at West Yorkshire Road Car Company to come forward to help with our investigations.”

Anyone who is able to help should call Ben Mitchell at Irwin Mitchell on 0113 394 6751 or email Ben.Mitchell@irwinmitchell.com