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Asbestos claims in Manchester and the North West

Manchester’s industrial heritage and the prominent role it played in the industrial revolution has led to a high number of people developing asbestos-related illnesses years later. 

As an area of the UK where there has historically been a lot of heavy industry, people who worked in these areas were at a greater risk of exposure to asbestos in their working lives. As such, many people have gone on to develop asbestos-related diseases in the Greater Manchester region – including mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer. 

In Greater Manchester 130 people were diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2018. While figures released by the Health and Safety Executive showed there were 2,526 deaths from mesothelioma across the UK in 2017. The highest levels of mesothelioma in Greater Manchester occurred in Wigan, Tameside and Stockport.

If you or a loved one have developed an asbestos-related disease after working in the city or the wider north west region and believe you were exposed to asbestos at work, then you may have a strong asbestos claim in Manchester. 

Even if you were exposed to asbestos in Manchester a few decades ago and the company you worked for is no longer operational, at Leigh Day we can still help you start a claim, whether you were diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer or pleural thickening.   

Ready to talk? Contact our specialist team about your claim for asbestos in the Manchester area. Call 0161 393 3530 or

Asbestos sources in Manchester

Manchester is renowned for its industrial past. As the birthplace of textile manufacturing and the industrial revolution, asbestos was commonly used in many sectors throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. 
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 of asbestos-related diseases. Many former Manchester workers are now being diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer. 
Some of the most commonly exposed occupations include:
  • 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 asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma compensation in Manchester if you have developed any such asbestos-related disease. 
We have worked for clients with asbestos claims in Manchester against companies in the city including:
  • Babcock & Wilcox Ltd
  • Carillion Construction (contracts) Ltd
  • Forster Wheeler Ltd
  • George Wimpey & Company Ltd
  • Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service
  • H.J. Heinz Company Ltd
  • Manchester Dry Docks
  • Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd
  • Manchester City Council
  • Semtex Ltd/Dunlop Semtex
  • WH Smith Electrical Engineers Ltd
  • William Kenyon & Sons Ltd
Some of the common sources of asbestos exposure in Manchester leading to related diseases include:

Factory workers 

Despite being a key player in the industrial revolution, the expansion of industry put many local Mancunians who worked in the city’s factories in danger. Factory workers especially were exposed to high amounts of asbestos as asbestos was well regarded for its heat insulating qualities, which meant it was used to lag heated pipes and boilers. Many factories in the Manchester area would have had asbestos lagging around their premises.

Allan’s story

Allan Grundy worked at Saunders Concrete Limited in Astley, Greater Manchester, between 1969 and 1971. He transported materials from the factory to building sites, which included asbestos sheets that he had to carry, cut and drill. He alleged there was no safety equipment or training provided by the firm. 
From 1974 to 1991, he worked for the Greater Manchester Fire Service in Eccles and then Leigh. During this period, he wore asbestos suits and handled asbestos fire blankets, regularly attending callouts to old buildings he claimed had asbestos lagging.   
In early 2016 he developed a cough, was referred for a CT scan and diagnosed with pleural thickening and then mesothelioma. Sadly he passed away in October 2017 from mesothelioma. Allan’s family received a six-figure settlement, although Saunders Concrete Limited and Greater Manchester Fire Service did not admit liability.


Large amounts of raw asbestos fibre were transported on boats along the Manchester Ship Canal and offloaded by dockers at Salford Docks. When these asbestos sacks were offloaded by dockers they were heavily exposed to asbestos through handling the shipments. Many dockworkers in the area have since contracted asbestos-related diseases in Manchester.


Many construction and demolition works have taken place in the city centre over the years. Asbestos was extensively used in the construction industry to make roofs, soffits and fascias on houses. Asbestos was well regarded for its heat insulating qualities, which meant it was extensively used to lag heated pipes and boilers. Construction workers will have handled asbestos lagging, sheets and ceiling tiles, exposing them to asbestos through their work.

George’s story

George worked at Charles Topham & Sons Limited, based in Eccles, in the 1970s. He was a joiner and worked on the construction of flats at Atherton, near Bolton. This involved boxing in soil pipes with asbestos sheets when constructing bathrooms. The sheets were easily breakable and dusty, with the dust often getting onto his clothes and hands.
In December 2018, he began to feel breathless. George visited his GP in January 2019, was sent for an x-ray and in February admitted to hospital for 10 days. Five litres of fluid were drained from his lung and a biopsy revealed he had mesothelioma.  
Charles Topham & Sons Limited is now defunct. Our team traced their historic insurers – who did not admit liability. However, the Court ordered damages should be paid to George and a six-figure settlement was reached.

Why choose Leigh Day?

For more than 30 years, our personal injury team has worked to secure the compensation our clients are entitled to for a wide range of claims. These have included many asbestos claims in Manchester. The team works tirelessly and with compassion to support you through this difficult period. 

Our Manchester office assists residents of the city, the wider Greater Manchester and north West region with your asbestos claims. Leigh Day partner Steven Dickens has been helping those suffering in the Greater Manchester area since 2006. 

Steven Dickens qualified as a solicitor in 2003 and has specialised in cases to do with asbestos-related illnesses and mesothelioma since 2006. He has specialist in-depth knowledge of the firms in the industrial north west of England who caused employees to be exposed to asbestos. 
This local knowledge has helped Steven successfully secure asbestos compensation in Manchester for many claimants over the last decade, primarily for people who have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace. 

Contact Leigh Day

Speak to Steven Dickens about your asbestos claim in Manchester. We will happily visit you at home or in hospital to discuss your case as well.   

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