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Former Leeds Factory Worker Appeals To Ex Colleagues To Help Asbestos Investigation

Expert Industrial Disease Lawyers Help In Battle For Justice


A former machine operator suffering from a debilitating industrial illness caused by asbestos exposure is appealing for his ex colleagues to help lawyers investigate how he was exposed to the deadly dust.

Richard Bold, of Withernsea in North Humberside, was diagnosed with pleural thickening, which causes the lining of the lungs to thicken leaving him short of breath, in April 2010.

The 66-year-old believes the incurable condition may have been caused by exposure to asbestos during his 22-year career at the Greenwood and Batley factory, on Armley Road in Leeds.  Richard undertook an apprenticeship and qualified as a capstan lathe operator.  He started working at the factory in 1962 and remained there until 1984.

He has now instructed specialist industrial disease lawyers at law firm Irwin Mitchell and together they are appealing for his ex colleagues to come forward with information about the working practices at Greenwood and Batley to help him get access to the justice he deserves.

Richard worked on the factory’s main workshop floor in the capstan department where he was responsible for operating a lathe machine.  Richard worked in close proximity to other areas that dealt with the manufacture and repair of steam turbines, which were known to have been insulated with asbestos.

Nicola Handley, an industrial disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office, said: “Pleural thickening is a debilitating lung condition which is caused by exposure to asbestos and we are sadly seeing more and more people diagnosed with the disease.

“Industrial illnesses like pleural thickening can have a devastating impact on the lives of victims like Richard whose health and lifestyle has been completely changed more than 40 years after he believes he was exposed to the deadly dust.

“In order to gain justice for Richard we need information about the working practices at the Greenwood and Batley factory.”

Richard first stated to suffer from the effects of pleural thickening and asbestos in April 2010 when he felt constantly breathless. Specialists at Castle Hill Hospital carried out tests and scans which confirmed his lungs were damaged by pleural thickening and asbestosis.

Richard said: “My condition has had a massive impact on my life and to think it might have been caused by simply going to work more than 40 years ago has been a shock.  The factory was always so dirty and dusty but I was never warned about the dangers of working closely to asbestos nor was I given a mask or any other protective breathing equipment.”

Richard’s illness has had such an impact on his life he is no longer able to enjoy his hobbies of swimming and gardening.  He also has difficulty walking for more than half a mile and he says jobs around the house, such as cleaning and decorating, now take him twice as long as they did before.

He added: “Life is a struggle now because I have difficulty walking to the shops and doing the things that I did before.  However, I am trying to manage the best I can. 

“I hope my ex colleagues do come forward with information about how asbestos was used at Greenwood and Batley so they can help me get the justice I deserve.”

Anyone with information about the working conditions at Greenwood and Batley in Leeds, from the 1960s to the 1980s, should contact Nicola Handley at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office on 0113 220 6233 or email nicola.handley@irwinmitchell.com.