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Mesothelioma patient Graham Buckland from Emneth hopes former workmates at Dacorum College, Herts, can help him

Graham Buckland, who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, with his daughter Lorna.
Graham Buckland, who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, with his daughter Lorna.

A former college technician from Emneth who was diagnosed with mesothelioma a year ago has joined with lawyers to appeal to his former colleagues for help as he seeks answers and justice regarding his illness.

Graham Buckland, 77, was diagnosed with the form of cancer which affects the lungs and is associated with exposure to asbestos, in September 2016 following a biopsy at King’s Lynn hospital.

Following the news, he instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Cambridge office to help him discover how he developed the illness and whether more could have been done to protect him.

After reviewing his work history, both Graham and his legal team believe he may have been exposed to the deadly material during his time working as a technician at Dacorum College, Hemel Hempstead, for Hertfordshire County Council between 1982 and 1992.

Graham has recalled asbestos being removed from the fabric of the building while he still worked at the college and he believes his former colleagues will remember the removal work being done.

As part of their work, Graham’s legal representatives are now keen to hear from anyone who may have more information regarding the presence of asbestos at the site during that time period.

Martyn Hayward, a Solicitor and specialist asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who is representing Graham, said: “While asbestos exposure has, for many years been associated with working in industrial environments, we are being asked for help by a growing number of people who believe they came into contact with the material in public buildings such as schools, colleges and hospitals where the material was used in the construction process.

“Our client is understandably devastated by his diagnosis and is keen for answers regarding just how the illness developed and whether more should have been done to protect him from the risks.

“Any information regarding the presence of asbestos at this college could prove vital in helping us get Graham the financial support he both requires and deserves.”

Looking back at this time at Dacorum College, Graham outlined how he believed ceiling tiles used within his office were made from asbestos.

He said: “The tiles were often removed, replaced and drilled into, during a range of refurbishment work and, as I had not been given any warnings or protection, I would tend to sweep up any dust myself. When the asbestos removal works eventually took place, it’s quite likely that I was again exposed to asbestos dust.

“When you go to work you simply never expect that your health may be put at risk, yet I’m stunned by the fact that this appears to be the case. I am desperate to know whether more should have been done to protect me and would be hugely grateful if anyone with information regarding asbestos at the college could come forward. Any detail no matter how small could make a huge difference.”

Anyone with information which may be able to help this case is urged to contact Martyn Hayward on 0370 1500 100 or email martyn.hayward@irwinmitchell.com.

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