Hunt for colleagues of Bolton man exposed to asbestos in ‘50s

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Hunt for colleagues of Bolton man exposed to asbestos in ‘50s

30th March 2011

Former colleagues of a Bolton man who died from cancer after being exposed to asbestos more than 50 years ago are being urged to help his family win their fight for justice.

Bernard Hogan, 82, succumbed to his illness in September last year - just six months after being diagnosed with lung cancer and asbestosis - conditions caused by exposure to deadly asbestos during his work in Bolton in the 1950s. Now a solicitor specialising in industrial disease cases is hoping anyone who remembers working alongside Mr Hogan will come forward with vital information to help secure his family the compensation to which he was entitled.

"Mr Hogan was a father of four who worked diligently all his life," said Hayley Martinez, an expert in occupational illness with Fentons Solicitors LLP. "He was diagnosed in March last year, but sadly died before he was able to begin the process of claiming compensation from his former employer," she said. "We have very little information to work on, and we desperately need to find anyone who remembers working alongside him or can elaborate on the little information we already have."

Mrs Martinez said Mr Hogan, who lived in Harwood and worked in Bolton throughout his life, had been exposed to asbestos during his work with two local companies between 1953 and 1958.

"Unfortunately as is often the case with men of Mr Hogan's generation he kept his work and family life very separate, so we don't have much information about the work he actually did or who he may have worked with," said Mrs Martinez. "From a form he filled in we have been able to ascertain that from 1953 Mr Hogan worked for the former North Western Electricity Board at the Back o' th' Bank power station," she said. "He believed he had been exposed to asbestos while working on pipes and boilers there, which were insulated with asbestos."

"Then from 1956 to 1958, he worked for Potter's Chemical Works, where he again believed he had been exposed after working on pipes and boilers insulated with asbestos."

Mrs Martinez said finding former colleagues who could help show he was exposed to asbestos during his work was proving difficult. "It can take many years after exposure to asbestos before any related disease becomes apparent, and we desperately need to hear from any colleagues who worked alongside Mr Hogan during his time working with these two Bolton companies," she said.

"Mr Hogan had suffered some health problems as he grew older, but nothing too serious. But that all changed last year," said Mrs Martinez. "He went to visit his GP after developing a persistent cough, and after the cough worsened he was referred for x-rays which revealed a tumour on his lung. He died just ten weeks after finishing a course of radiotherapy."

Mrs Martinez said she was now hoping to trace any colleagues who could provide further information about the materials that were used in those workplaces, who remembered working with Mr Hogan, or who can remember asbestos dust being prevalent in the areas in which he worked.

"We are also trying to track down anyone who worked in the Potter's Chemicals offices, who might be able to help us identify that business's insurance company," she said. "Mr Hogan has paid an enormous price for working dutifully. Hopefully with the help of his former colleagues, his family can win their fight for justice and start rebuilding their lives."

Can you help?
If you remember working alongside Bernard Hogan at Back o' th' Bank power station between 1953 and 1956, or at Potter's Chemical Works between 1956 and 1958, please contact Hayley Martinez on 0161 238 6419 or e-mail hayley.martinez@fentons.co.uk.