A Yorkshire man who developed cancer after being exposed to dangerous chemicals at work has received compensation from his former employers.

The 57-year-old from Leeds was exposed to harmful chemicals whilst working for Hickson and Welsh, a chemical manufacturer in Castleford for nine years from when he was just 15.

He trained and then worked as a mechanical engineer at the firm’s chemical works from 1969 to 1978 and was exposed to dangerous fumes on a daily basis. He was never provided with a face mask nor warned of the health risks of working with dangerous chemicals.

He left the firm in 1978 to work for British Coal.

Diagnosed with bladder cancer

Three years ago in April 2008 he began to notice blood in his urine and was subsequently diagnosed with bladder cancer.

He has since received chemotherapy but has been told he has a 50% chance of the cancer reoccurring.

He said: “I was devastated by my diagnosis. It is a terrible condition which means I have to go through embarrassing and unpleasant procedures. My checks are now six monthly but I know there is an even chance that the cancer will return and that fills me with dread.

“Over the years many of my former colleagues have suffered from bladder cancer as a result of their work and though it had been hanging over me it was still a shock when I was diagnosed. I feel let down and angry that we were allowed to be exposed without any protection to chemicals that were dangerous enough to cause us ill health.”

Instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation

Following his diagnosis he was encouraged by his consultant to contacted a solicitor. He instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.

Thompsons secured a provisional settlement out of court which allows him to make a further claim if his cancer comes back.

Marion Voss from Thompson Solicitors in Leeds said: “Exposure to certain chemicals can increase the chances of bladder cancer and workers at Hickson and Welsh during the same time as our client are in the group at risk.

“Fortunately his treatment has cleared his cancer and will hopefully keep him clear but there is a risk of the cancer returning. The provisional settlement means he can make a further claim for compensation to recognise the very serious consequences for him if the cancer does return.”