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Asbestos and mesothelioma claims in Liverpool

Asbestos claims in Liverpool and the North West are slowly increasing. Figures previously released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) showed 90 people died from mesothelioma in 2011, compared to 15 in 1982. 

With the city’s long history of heavy industry – such as shipbuilding, dock and factory work – those who worked in these areas especially across Liverpool and Birkenhead on the Wirral, have a high rate of developing the asbestos-related cancer - mesothelioma.

The exact number of people who have died or developed asbestos related-diseases in Liverpool due to exposure in the past is hard to quantify. Merseyside Asbestos Victim Support Group (MAVSG) reported it could be as high as one in eight men were exposed at work. 

The HSE reports that there were more than 5,000 asbestos-related disease deaths in 2019 across Great Britain. Their figures have previously shown nearly 1,200 people in the Liverpool, Merseyside and North West area died of mesothelioma since 1981, while between 2006 and 2010 there were 258 male deaths from asbestos-related cancer.

As many asbestos-related diseases develop over a few decades, it is only now that individuals who were exposed to asbestos in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s are showing symptoms. A lot are now being diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer. 

If you or a loved one have received a diagnosis for any of these diseases and believe you were exposed to asbestos during your time working in the region, you may have a strong asbestos claim in Liverpool and the North West. 

Ready to talk? Contact our specialist team about your claim for asbestos in the Liverpool area. Call 0151 305 2760 or

Asbestos sources in Liverpool and the North West

The Merseyside region has a high incidence of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases as legacies of their industrial pasts. It was well known for its manufacturing and world-renowned shipbuilding industries.    

Asbestos use was prominent in these sectors and many more during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Some of the most commonly exposed occupations included:
  • Laggers
  • Engineers
  • Shipwrights
  • Joiners
  • Carpenters
  • Plumbers
  • Boilermakers
  • Labourers  
  • Dockworkers
  • Fitters
  • Welders
  • Painters
  • Electricians 
  • Ceiling fitters

If you worked in any of these positions, then you may be eligible for compensation for mesothelioma in Liverpool and the North West if you develop the disease. 
Some of the common sources of asbestos exposure in the area leading to related diseases include:


Ark-Royal-(1).jpgDespite having a proud history of building and repairing ships, Merseyside’s manufacturing has left a terrible legacy in the region. Asbestos was used extensively in the industry for many years. Pipes, 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 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. Workers from other shipyards and ship repair companies around Merseyside have been affected by asbestos diseases, including people who worked for companies such as:
  • Harland and Wolff
  • Howsons
  • Crichtons
  • Sanders
  • A & R Brown
  • J Russell
  • Sandhills

Bernard’s story

Bernard Jack was a joiner at Birkenhead dockyard for Blue Funnel, from 1959 to 1967 and at Cammell Lairds from 1967 to 1968. At Cammell Lairds, Bernard believes he lined submarines with Marinite asbestos sheets, which he cut using a handsaw, and that the pipes and joints were lagged with asbestos. 

He experienced breathlessness and on 27 February 2016, Bernard was diagnosed with asbestosis. Despite now living in Australia, his asbestosis claim in Liverpool was settled on a provisional damages basis – meaning his case can return to court for further damages if he develops additional asbestos diseases.


Large amounts of raw asbestos fibre were transported on ships that came into Liverpool Docks and along the Manchester Ship Canal well into the 1970s. These were offloaded by dockers at both Liverpool and Salford Docks – exposing them to asbestos and leading to many dockworkers in the area contracting asbestos-related diseases.

Raw asbestos fibre was carried in hessian sacks in the holds of ships. The bags were often damaged during transit and unloading, 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, dockworkers in Liverpool and other ports around the UK worked under the National Dock Labour Scheme . It is possible to bring asbestos compensation claims in Liverpool against the Dock Labour Board. Partner Kevin Johnson was part of the legal team that created a legal precedent that allowed dockworkers to bring claims against the government.


A lot of the asbestos that arrived in Liverpool was transported to local factories in and around the North West. Some of these included:
  • Turner Brothers Asbestos Company sites in Rochdale and Wigan
  • Turners Asbestos Cement in Trafford Park
  • Cape Asbestos plant of Acre Mill in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire 

The notorious Cape Asbestos plant of Acre Mill featured in the seminal documentary “Alice – A Fight For Life”, first shown in 1982. It played a vital role in changing attitudes about asbestos.

Many factories in the Liverpool areas had asbestos lagging around their premises. Factory workers may have been exposed due to this and through handling asbestos directly once it arrived from the docks. 


Asbestos was extensively used in the construction industry across Liverpool to make roofs, soffits and fascias on houses. It was highly regarded for its heat-insulating qualities, which meant that it was extensively used to lag heated pipes and boilers. Construction workers would have been exposed through handling asbestos lagging, asbestos sheets and asbestos ceiling tiles.
Contact our specialist team about your asbestos claim in Liverpool today:

Why choose Leigh Day?

At Leigh Day, our personal injury team are experts in their field, with more than 30 years’ experience. Within this team, we have specialist asbestos solicitors in Liverpool who have the legal knowledge and experience to deal with a wide range of compensation claims. 
“Kevin Johnson is one of the ‘leading solicitors in the North West for asbestos claims’; he has an ‘extremely reassuring manner with clients’.” – Legal 500 2017
Kevin Johnson heads up asbestos cases in Liverpool and Merseyside. Kevin qualified as a solicitor in 1999 and has specialised in asbestos and mesothelioma claims since then. He has worked on claims for asbestos in the Liverpool area from 2002 at different firms before joining Leigh Day in 2016. Kevin’s work has involved representing asbestos disease sufferers in high value and complex claims – securing compensation for more than £500,000 in some cases. 

Contact Leigh Day

Get in touch with Leigh Day to discuss your asbestos claim in Liverpool or the wider Merseyside region today. Call 0151 305 2760 or

Find further contact details for our Liverpool office.

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