Asbestos cancer victim to speak at RoSPA Scotland Conference


A woman who contracted mesothelioma from the asbestos dust on her husband’s clothes will speak at the annual Scottish conference of The Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) on Wednesday (May 1).

Mavis Nye’s husband Ray came into contact with asbestos in the 1950s while working as an apprentice at the Royal Naval Dockyard in Chatham, Kent. Ray would often meet Mavis on his lunch break, and, unknown to him, often had a fine dust of asbestos on his clothes.

It wasn’t until 2009 that the devastating consequences of this became apparent, when Mavis was diagnosed with a form of asbestos-related terminal lung cancer.

Mavis and Ray later established the Mavis Nye Foundation, to “inspire victims of mesothelioma” and raise awareness of the dangers of exposure to asbestos.

Mavis will address RoSPA’s 2019 Scotland Conference, taking place at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Edinburgh City Centre. She said: “Despite being banned from UK buildings two decades ago, asbestos is killing 5,000 people a year in the UK.

“My hope is, by sharing my story, I will be able to help drive home why it is vital that companies and employees take health and safety seriously and in doing so prevent heartache and loss of life. I am very grateful to RoSPA for giving me an opportunity to do this.”

The RoSPA Scotland Conference is the annual event for the health and safety community in Scotland. It's a unique opportunity to discuss key issues facing professionals, through a range of updates, case studies and interactive sessions. 

This year’s conference focuses on improving health and safety practice in the workplace, and presentations will be given on how to avoid accidents while working at height and driving professionally.

Speakers on the day also include Barry Baker, head of operations for the HSE in Scotland, Shirley Windsor, organisational lead for public mental health at NHS Health Scotland, and Errol Taylor, chief executive of RoSPA.

Dr Karen McDonnell, head of RoSPA Scotland, said: “Tragically, one person dies every hour as a result of past exposure to harmful working conditions in the UK. The devastating impact of poor occupational health and safety practice is clearly and poignantly demonstrated in the case of Mavis and Ray Nye.

“RoSPA is calling on employers here in Scotland and the wider world to consider the ‘ripple effect’ of life altering accidents, injuries and ill-health on families, communities and society as a whole. Accidents don’t have to happen.”

You can read more about Mavis and Ray’s story at

The HSE is supporting this year’s RoSPA Scotland Conference. More information can be found at

There are still places available for the RoSPA Scotland Conference. For more details see or email

For photographs and other requests email: or call 0121 248 2135.

Note to broadcasters: RoSPA has its own ISDN studio.

Contact Us

Press Office
+44 (0)121 248 2135