Devastated Daughters Appeal For Help In Asbestos Investigation After Father's Death

Specialist Lawyers Seeking Labourer’s Former Colleagues To Shed Light On His Deadly Dust Exposure

14.05.2014

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

The children of a man who died from bronchopneumonia, caused by an asbestos-related condition known as asbestosis, are appealing to his former colleagues at the ICI plant in Winnington, Cheshire, to help with an investigation into how their father was exposed to the deadly dust.

Douglas Charles Hardwick (known as Dougie or Doug to his friends and work colleagues), formerly of Castle, Northwich, Cheshire, died on 2nd November 2013, aged 84. Mr Hardwick suffered from asbestosis which was caused by breathing in asbestos dust and fibres during his working life decades ago.

Now Doug’s children have instructed industrial disease specialists at law firm Irwin Mitchell to investigate how and why he was exposed to asbestos dust. They are appealing for his former work colleagues to help provide information about the working conditions at the ICI plant in Winnington, Cheshire.

After being diagnosed with asbestosis, Douglas told his daughters, Dawn and Tracy that he was exposed to asbestos whilst working as a labourer and scaffolder at the ICI plant in Winnington during the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s. This particular plant was responsible for the production of Sodium Carbonate and where polythene was first discovered by accident in 1933 during experiments into high chemical reactions.

Dawn, aged 51, of Middlewich in Cheshire recalled her father saying that as a scaffolder he erected scaffolding so the pipefitters could install and repair pipework around the plant. Pipe fitters removed the asbestos lagging whilst her father worked alongside them. He told her it was very dusty work and it left his overalls covered in dust and fibres.

Charlotte Hobday, an expert industrial disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, leading the case, said: “Douglas had five children and all are extremely upset that their father was taken away from them in such a terrible way due to being exposed to asbestos during his working life. We would like to know more about the working conditions and find out if more could have been done to protect Douglas during his employment.

“The family are seeking answers about why their hard-working father was put in such grave danger simply because he went to work every day. We urge anyone who may have worked with Douglas during the 1950’s 1960’s or 1970’s at the ICI plant in Winnington, to come forward as you may be able to help with the investigation and help his family achieve the justice they deserve.”

Dawn said: “Before his illness, dad was always independent and a sociable man but in 2012 he began losing a lot of weight and his health declined rapidly. It was horrible to see him like that.

“Now we want answers as to why our father wasn’t given adequate protection from exposure to the killer dust. We deserve to know the truth and our father deserves justice. His life was taken away from him prematurely through no fault of his own. We will miss him very much.

“We now hope that there are people out there who worked with my father who can come forward to give us a picture of the working conditions they had to cope with at the ICI plant.”

Anyone who may be able to help with information about the working conditions at ICI in Winnington during the 1950s, 60’s and 70’s should contact Charlotte Hobday on 0161 838 2381 or email charlotte.hobday@Irwinmitchell.com

Our expert asbestosis claims team will provide you with free initial advice on your compensation claim if you or a loved on has been diagnosed with asbestosis caused by asbestos exposure. See our Asbestos-Related Disease Claims Guide for more information.