Family of beloved Sheffield granddad who died of lung cancer appeal to his former colleagues for help

The family of a beloved Sheffield granddad who died from lung cancer are trying to trace his former colleagues in a bid to help them discover if the illness may be linked to one of his old jobs.

Thursday, 8th August 2019, 4:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th August 2019, 4:17 pm
Melvyn Ward

Melvyn Ward died at the end of August 2017, aged 73, just a few weeks after he went to hospital complaining of breathlessness and displaying symptoms which indicated sepsis.

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A post-mortem revealed he died as a result of various factors, including a chest infection, lung cancer and exposure to materials such as chromium, of which there was around twice the background normal population level found in his lung tissue.

Melvyn's family are seeking help from his former workmates

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Following his death, Melvyn’s son Andrew recalled how his work at Firma Chrome Plating Co Ltd involved plating various pieces of metal with a chrome-based solution as he worked alongside his dad for a short period of time.

Melvyn also undertook similar work at Carver Plating Co Ltd.

His widow Jean, 71, said: “Melvyn was a hugely loved husband, father and grandfather and the entire family still misses him so much every day.

“While we know nothing will ever bring him back, we are determined to try and get answers regarding how he became exposed to chromium and whether more could have been done to prevent it from happening.”

Melvyn’s family are now working with specialist workplace illness lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office to investigate how he came to be exposed to chromium and whether it may have been linked to his working life.

They are appealing for anyone who worked with Melvyn at either Firma Chrome Plating Co Ltd, between 1969 and 1987, or Carver Plating Co Ltd, from 1988 to 1997, to come forward and shed light on the presence of chromium at either site.

David Johnston-Keay, the workplace injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who is acting for Melvyn’s family, said: “Our clients remain understandably devastated by the death of Melvyn and continue to hold many questions regarding how he ultimately died.

“We now believe he may have been exposed to chromium during his work and would be keen to hear from anyone who may be able to provide further information regarding this.”

Jean Ward added: “We would be hugely grateful to anyone who may be able to help us learn more about the terrible circumstances which ultimately led to Melvyn’s death.”

Anyone with information which may assist this case is asked to contact David Johnston-Keay at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office on 0114 274 4420 or email