A cancer sufferer is calling for his former workmates to come forward with information about his exposure to asbestos after he was diagnosed with a fatal lung disease mesothelioma.

Alan West, 54, from Wickford in Essex was diagnosed with the devastating disease in March 2010 after complaining of pain in his ribs.

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. There is no cure for the disease which often takes decades for symptoms to develop after the asbestos exposure took place.

Following his diagnosis the dad of one contacted his trade union, Unite, which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to advise about claiming compensation.

CNH UK Ltd, Cranes Farm Road, Basildon, Essex (Basildon Tractor Plant)

Thompsons are investigating a number of avenues but found Mr West may have been exposed to asbestos during his work for CNH UK Limited, at Cranes Farm Road, Basildon, Essex, known locally as the Basildon Tractor Plant.

He started working for the company in 1979 when it was owned by the Ford Motor Company and worked in a number of different departments. He is still employed by the company but is absent from work due to his illness. He remembers working on various lines in the Tractor Plant and in a number of buildings.

A colleague of Mr West recalls asbestos being present throughout the plant in the pipe lagging, around the boilers and in floor and ceiling tiles. It is understood a lot of asbestos has since been encapsulated or removed by contractors.

Mr West stated “My diagnosis has come as a great shock to the family. I have a 15-year-old son who is still at school and I worry deeply about his future.”

Thompsons Solicitors would like to talk to anyone who may have any information about Mr West’s working conditions during the 1980s at CNH UK.

Ann-Marie Christie from Thompsons Solicitors said: “We are aiming to build up a detailed picture of the work Mr West did at the time and what others around him were doing. This is just one of several areas of our investigation, which is still in its very early stages.”