WORKERS exposed to deadly asbestos during the construction of Omagh Leisure Complex almost four decades ago could potentially be in line for thousands of pounds of compensation.
A test case is currently being taken against the former Department of Employment and Learning by the family of a man from the Omagh area, who died from an asbestos-related illness in 2012.
The TyroneHerald understands that his death was caused by a condition called Nesothelioma contracted as a result of him having to work with the hazardous material when the leisure complex was being built between 1979 and 1982.
Family members of the man have been prompted into taking the legal action after it emerged in 2013 that work on the £6.5 million re-development of the complex had to be halted following the discovery of asbestos.
Martin Hanna, a partner with Francis Hanna and Co in Belfast, which is helping the family with the case, urged those who worked during the project to come forward.
“We are aware that there were workers who may have been exposed to asbestos at this site in the late 1970s and early 1980s and we would like to speak to them,” he said.
“We hope that this appeal will jog the memory of anyone who worked on the site and, in particular, the use of the asbestos and the conditions in which the construction crews were working at the time.
“We are not only looking to victims of any asbestos related disease, but also to anyone who worked at the construction of the leisure complex and remembers asbestos being used.
“The exposure to asbestos can be very harmful and the medical effects may not be revealed often for decades afterwards.
“It is vitally important to establish the nature of its use at Omagh Leisure Complex for anyone who was working at that site at the time or any time when asbestos was being used.”
Four years ago, the UH revealed that a small amount of asbestos was found during the demolition of the old swimming pool and adjacent facilities at the centre. An authorised contractor removed what Omagh District Council said at the time was a ‘small amount’ of the material, which has been known to cause terminal lung conditions.
The family of the man have wished to remain anonymous at this time.