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Asbestos claims in Liverpool, Merseyside, and the North-West

People who have worked in areas of heavy industry such as Liverpool and Birkenhead on the Wirral have a high rate of the asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma.

Health and Safety Executive figures show that nearly 1200 people in the area have died of mesothelioma since 1981.  Between 2006 and 2010 258 men died from the asbestos related cancer. 

Heavy industry and mesothelioma

Merseyside’s industries have left a terrible industrial legacy in the region, despite having a proud history of building and repairing ships, with shipyards such as Cammell Laird in Birkenhead building many famous ships such as HMS Ark Royal (pictured). 

Asbestos and shipbuilding

Asbestos was used extensively in the construction of ships.

Ark-Royal-(1).jpgPipes, boilers and other plant and machinery were covered with asbestos lagging for insulation purposes.  Asbestos in sheet form was also used to line cabins and other areas on ships.  It was used because of its fire-resistant properties.  

Many workers from Cammell Laird and other shipyards have gone on to develop asbestos related diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural thickening.  

Occupations affected by mesothelioma

  • Laggers
  • Engineers
  • Shipwrights
  • Joiners
  • Carpenters
  • Plumbers
  • Boilermakers
  • Labourers  
  • Dockworkers
  • Fitters
  • Welders
  • Painters
  • Electricians 
  • Ceiling fitters

Workers from other shipyards and ship repair companies around Merseyside have been affected by asbestos diseases, including people who worked for companies including Harland and Wolff, Howsons, Crichtons, Sanders, A & R Brown, J Russell, Sandhills and others.

Dockworkers have been badly hit by the effects of asbestos.

Large amounts of asbestos fibre were transported on ships that came into Liverpool Docks well into the 1970’s.  

Raw asbestos fibre was carried in hessian sacks in the holds of ships.  The sacks were often damaged whilst being transported and unloaded, releasing massive amounts of asbestos fibre.

Conditions inside the holds of ships were appalling and many dockers have spoken about taking their breaks inside the holds of ships with the still air thick with asbestos. Until 1967 dockers in Liverpool and other ports around the UK like London, Glasgow, Hull and Cardiff worked under the National Dock Labour Scheme, and it is possible to bring compensation claims against the Dock Labour Board.

Asbestos factory workers in the region, as well as those working in all areas of construction, continue to be affected by the results of handling asbestos lagging, asbestos sheets and asbestos ceiling tiles.  

Bringing an asbestos disease claim

At Leigh Day we have an expert team of specialist asbestos solicitors with many years of experience of dealing with compensation claims on behalf of asbestos disease sufferers.  Helen Ashton and Kevin Johnson are based in our Manchester and Liverpool offices and have extensive experience of acting for asbestos disease sufferers and recovering significant amounts of compensation for victims of mesothelioma.

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