In the shipbuilding heyday of the 1950’s and 1960’s, Vickers Armstrong was one of the largest shipyards in Great Britain. Shipyard workers were involved in building some of the most majestic vessels ever to grace the waters. However, asbestos was being used by those shipyard workers in all trades across the shipyard. Asbestos was leaving its fatal legacy.
Joiners, Laggers, Welders and many other tradesmen were working in confined spaces on board the ships and submarines under construction. Most did not have access to the protective equipment that is now compulsory when working with asbestos. It was highly likely that these tradesmen would have been exposed to asbestos in their normal working environment. Asbestos was used for its heat resistant properties and for insulation. Tradesmen were likely to inhale asbestos fibres on a day-to-day basis. Shipyard workers would have no idea that they suffered a high risk that, in the future, they would suffer serious illness as a result of their exposure to asbestos. Asbestos exposure is known to cause asbestosis, pleural thickening, asbestos related lung cancers and mesothelioma.
In 2016 the Office for National Statistics showed that Barrow had three times the number of asbestos related deaths than the national average. As well as shipyard workers developing asbestos related disease, secondary exposure was also common as those workers would return home to their families wearing overalls covered in asbestos dust and particles. This would mean that many family members, including wives, husbands and children, not even working in the shipbuilding industry, could develop asbestos related disease.
The average length of time for workers to develop asbestos related symptoms is reported to be 35 years although some workers in studies have developed symptoms within 10 to 15 years. Asbestos is a silent killer, with those exposed not knowing until many years later that it had left its fatal legacy.
Here at Poole Townsend we have been involved for many years in helping shipyard workers to recover the compensation that they deserve. We know that clients are not only worried about their own health but are also concerned that their family should not suffer financially as a result of their ill health and, in many cases, early death. We have been helping people recover maximum compensation for nearly 30 years.
In order to start a claim, we will take a full history and make sure that all potential Defendants are identified at the earliest stage. We will ensure that all necessary evidence is gathered to ensure that we recover maximum compensation on behalf of our clients.
If you require any assistance or wish to enquire about the possibility of pursuing a claim following exposure to asbestos, then contact Joanne Copeland at Poole Townsend Solicitors for advice. We can offer a “No Win – No Fee” Agreement and there is no charge for our first meeting