Appeal after Sheffield mum’s death

Nora Leverton, from Stannington
Nora Leverton, from Stannington
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The family of a Sheffield hospital worker who died from an asbestos-related illness are urging her former colleagues to come forward with information about the conditions in the building where she worked.

Nora Leverton, from Stannington, died aged 77 in January from mesothelioma – a cancer of the lungs’ lining caused by exposure to asbestos dust – following an eight-month battle with the disease.

Nora started working at Middlewood Hospital in 1972 as a cleaner, but later trained as an occupational therapy assistant and continued to work at the site up until 1986.

Her son, David Leverton, has now instructed a law firm to investigate his mum’s exposure to the deadly dust.

David, 51, says he remembers that, before Nora’s death, she described how the hospital underwent renovation work during her employment, and that she remembered dust and fibres in the air.

In the 1970s and 80s, asbestos boards were often used for insulation and fireproofing in large public buildings.

Simone Hardy, a workplace illness specialist at law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: “Mesothelioma is a cancer for which the only known cause is exposure to asbestos dust. It is an illness which could have been avoided simply by precautions being taken in the workplace.

“We hope Nora’s former colleagues will be able to come forward with any information about the conditions at Middlewood Hospital as it may prove vital in obtaining justice for the family.”

She added: “The risks to health from exposure to asbestos have been known for a very long time. The first regulations to protect workers from inhaling asbestos dust were made law in 1931 yet all too often we see workers lost their lives decades later because they were not warned of the dangers or given the correct safety equipment.”

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