Devastated Partner Of Construction Site Worker Who Died From Asbestos-Related Illness Seeks Justice

Grandad-Of-Two Just Four Months After Being Diagnosed With Mesothelioma


The devastated partner of a construction site worker who died after exposure to deadly asbestos dust is appealing for his ex- colleagues to provide information about the conditions he endured whilst working as a labourer and general foreman in the 1970s and 1980s.

Just months after being diagnosed with mesothelioma Ian Bainbridge lost his battle with the incurable disease aged 70 on January 10. Now his heartbroken partner of 34 years, Effie Cresswell, has vowed to continue his battle for justice.

Effie, who lives in Morecambe, has joined forces with specialist industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell and together they are appealing for Ian’s ex- colleagues from Liverpool-based civil engineering company Norwest to help investigate why more was not done to protect him.

Ian worked for Norwest, which later changed its name to Norwest Holst Group and Norwest Social, between 1976 and 1985. He was employed by the firm as a labourer, and later a foreman, and was responsible for travelling to sites across the country to carry out construction work and to remove old asbestos-lagged pipe work from buildings.

Megan Christie, an industrial disease expert from Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office, said: “Mesothelioma is a debilitating illness that can have a terrible impact on victims and their families, particularly people like Effie who had so little time left with her partner after he was diagnosed.

“By the late 1970s employers knew very well about the adverse affects asbestos exposure could have on the health of their employees so there is no excuse for employers that took risks with asbestos. Ian should have been provided with proper respiratory protection and special precautions should have been taken with asbestos.

“We hope as many of Ian’s ex-workmate’s from Norwest will come forward with the vital information we need to help Effie get the justice she deserves in Ian’s memory.”

Ian worked on construction sites at hospitals, schools, churches, prisons, railways and warehouses for Norwest.

Before he died he told lawyers he recalled working at Crosshouse Hospital in South West Scotland, Strangeways Prison in Manchester, the Reebok warehouse, the Refuse Centre in London, the Windscale Nuclear Reactor facility in Cumbria and the Cricklewood Railway Station in Barnet. He recalled being exposed to asbestos whilst removing the lagging from old or broken asbestos-lagged pipes.

Ian first started to suffer from the effects of mesothelioma in January 2012 while on holiday when he started to feel breathless and lethargic. As soon as he returned home he visited his doctor who referred him to Lancaster Hospital for scans and tests. He was admitted to hospital on four more occasions due to the breathing problems. He was finally diagnosed with mesothelioma in September 2012.

The dad of one and granddad of two was given oxygen to help ease his coughing and chest pains before he was referred to St John’s Hospice for palliative care.

Effie said: “I miss Ian terribly. It is absolutely devastating to think that he has died from working in the working conditions he had to put up with.  I hope his ex-colleagues come forward and provide information about the working conditions at Norwest.

“I miss Ian terribly and it’s absolutely devastating to think he died simply for going to work every day and because of the working conditions he had to put up with.

"Mesothelioma is a terrible illness and it took him from his family so quickly it has been hard for us all to come to terms with. He was a popular member of the team at Norwest and he worked at so many different sites across the country I hope there are plenty of his ex work mates who can help me get answers as to why more wasn’t done to protect him.”

Anyone with information about  the use of asbestos and working conditions at Norwest and any of the sites where Ian worked should contact Megan Christie at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office on 0161 838 5595 or email

Read more about Irwin Mitchell’s expertise related to Mesothelioma Compensation Claims.