A daughter whose dad died weeks after he was diagnosed with an asbestos-related cancer is appealing to his former workmates for help in establishing how he developed the disease.
Peter Broderick died aged 97, just weeks after he was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, a form of terminal lung cancer linked to exposure to hazardous asbestos several decades earlier.
Following his death Peter’s family, including daughter Sylvia Shepherd, instructed expert asbestos disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how he may have been exposed to the deadly material during his working life.
His family has now joined their legal team in using International Workers’ Memorial Day to appeal to Peter’s former colleagues to come forward with information about the working conditions he faced during his career.
They are particularly keen to hear from those who worked with Peter during the construction of the original Emley Moor television mast or at Elland Power Station, in Halifax, in the 1950s.
International Workers’ Memorial Day is on April 28 and this year, the campaign is focusing on ‘dangerous substances – get them out of the workplace’ and in particular asbestos and other carcinogenic materials.
Angela Davies, specialist asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing the family said: “Peter’s death is another dreadful reminder of the terrible legacy that asbestos has created and how dangerous it is.
“The family’s appeal is made all the more relevant as Workers’ Memorial Day this year has a particular focus on asbestos and preventing exposure in the workplace.
“We are now investigating how Peter may have been exposed during his working life. As part of our investigations we would be grateful for information about the possible use of asbestos during the construction of the original Emley Moor television mast or at Elland Power Station.
“Any information could prove vital in helping Peter’s family obtain find the answers they deserve regarding his final illness and sad death.”
Peter grew up on a farm in County Galway in the Republic of Ireland, and moved to Huddersfield in 1947. Two years later he married his wife, Sabina, who was known as Sheila.
Peter worked in the boiler room at the now demolished Elland Power Station, which was located near the River Calder and Manchester to Wakefield railway line, around 1955 and early 1956.
However, he did not like being stuck indoors so left to work on the construction of Emley Moor television mast in 1956.
Peter, Sheila, Sylvia and her brother Christopher, lived in a pre-fab house in Netheroyd Close, Netheroyd Hill, Sheepbridge, Huddersfield, at the time.
The family moved to Edenthorpe, Doncaster, in 1961. Peter worked on pit tops, including Hatfield Colliery, as well as for a plant hire company. He retired in 1989.
In July last year, Peter started complaining of pain in the back of his right arm and developed shoulder pain. Following medical appointments and tests he was diagnosed with mesothelioma at the end of September. He died on November 2 2018.
Sylvia, 67, said: “Dad was such a wonderful man, with a great sense of humour. He loved being outside and spent most of his working life outside. The reason he left the power station was because he hated being cooped inside and he joked that he was losing his tan.
“Despite his age he was still relatively active and led a pretty healthy life.
“We still cannot really believe how quickly his condition deteriorated following his diagnosis. We feel that we didn’t really get to plan properly and say goodbye to him. It all happened in flash.
“We still miss dad and his death has not fully sunk in. While we know nothing can bring him back, we want to honour his memory by finding the answers he deserves as to what caused his mesothelioma cancer.”
Anyone with information about working conditions at Emley Moor transmission station or Elland Power Station should call Angela Davies at Irwin Mitchell on 0114 274 4538 or email firstname.lastname@example.org