A Crewe man who was exposed to asbestos as a 14-year-old apprentice has received a substantial sum in compensation with help from his trade union.

Albert Greenwood, a Unite the union member developed asbestosis, a lung condition caused by exposure to asbestos whilst working for Crewe Railway Works.

The 84-year-old was diagnosed with the condition in May 2010 after suffering from breathing difficulties.

Asbestosis is progressive and debilitating

Asbestosis is progressive and debilitating. Often sufferers find it difficult to carry out normal household chores and to walk short distances.

The great granddad to six was exposed to asbestos whilst working as an apprentice fitter and turner and then as a qualified fitter at Crewe Railways Works.

He was exposed to asbestos on a daily basis but was never warned about the dangers or provided with adequate protective equipment.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

Following his diagnosis his trade union, Unite, instructed national asbestos claims experts Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.

Thompsons settled the claim out of court.

Mr Greenwood said: “I am delighted with this compensation. I had no idea about how dangerous my working conditions were until later years when my friends and colleagues began to suffer from asbestos related conditions.

“I’m grateful to Unite and Thompsons Solicitors for dealing with my claim. I’d never have been able to do this without them.”

Debilitating disease could have been avoided

Paul Finegan, regional secretary at Unite added: “We are pleased we have been able to assist this member to obtain compensation. This debilitating disease could have been avoided had the employer adopted a more responsible attitude towards health and safety.”

Joanne Keen from Thompsons Solicitors added: “This client has suffered a crippling respiratory disease caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. I was able to bring his case to a swift successful conclusion through the free specialist support he was entitled to from his trade union membership.”