A FORMER train maintenance worker who was diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease is calling on colleagues to come forward in his quest for justice.

Jeffrey Smith, aged 71, worked at the Horwich Loco Works as an apprentice fitter and turner for British Rail between 1962 and 1972.

And in December 2016 he was told by doctors that he had developed asbestosis.

Since the diagnosis, he and his wife Janice instructed specialist lawyers to investigate how he came to develop the illness and whether anything could have been done to prevent his exposure to the material.

Mr Smith's job as an apprentice fitter and turner meant he undertook maintenance and repair work on wagons and carriages at the site.

Jobs included working on heating systems that were cladded in asbestos as well as carrying out repairs on pipework, which also had asbestos insulation.

Mr Smith said: “Any work related to heating systems and pipework often meant having to remove cladding and insulation, which of course meant that dust and fibres were released into the air.

"Throughout this time I was never warned of any potential risks to my health created by my work, so I am now understandably devastated that I have been diagnosed with this condition.

"All I want is answers regarding how this could have happened, so any help from old colleagues or anyone who worked for British Rail across this time period would be massively appreciated."

Mr Smith and Irwin Mitchell are hoping to get in touch with others who worked in Horwich between 1962 and 1972.

Dominic Hemsi, lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester, said: “The terrible legacy of asbestos had had a huge impact on so many lives and this is yet another case in which the consequences of exposure to the material have become apparent many years after the contact is believed to have happened.

“Our client is understandably keen for answers regarding how his illness has emerged and we are determined to do everything we can to help him gain justice.

“Any information regarding the working conditions at the Horwich Carriage and Wagon Works across the period outlined could prove absolutely vital in our efforts, so we would be hugely grateful to anyone who is able to come forward and help.”

Anyone with information should contact Mr Hemsi on 0161 259 1516 or by emailing Dominic.Hemsi2@IrwinMitchell.com.