FORMER colleagues of ICI worker Douglas Hardwick are being asked by his children to help with an investigation into how their father was exposed to asbestos.

Mr Hardwick, formerly of Castle, Northwich, who worked at the ICI plant at Winnington, died on November 2 last year aged 84.

Mr Hardwick died from bronchopneumonia, caused by an asbestos-related condition known as asbestosis, which his family believes was caused by breathing in asbestos dust and fibres during his working life.

Now Mr Hardwick’s children have instructed industrial disease specialists at law firm Irwin Mitchell to investigate how Mr Hardwick, who was known as Dougie or Doug to his friends and work colleagues, was exposed to asbestos dust.

They are appealing to his former work colleagues to help provide information about the working conditions at the ICI plant.

The law firm said that after being diagnosed with the condition Mr Hardwick told his daughters Dawn and Tracy he was exposed to asbestos while working as a labourer and scaffolder at the ICI plant in Winnington during the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

Dawn, aged 51, from Middlewich, 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.

“His life was taken away from him prematurely through no fault of his own. We will miss him very much.

“We hope 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.”

Charlotte Hobday, an expert industrial disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Douglas had five children, who are all 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.”

Anyone who may be able to help with the investigation is asked to contact Charlotte on 0161 838 2381 or email