The family of a Humber shipyard welder who has exposed to asbestos have received compensation with help from his trade union.

Arthur Prestidge was 80 when he died from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and can take 40 years or more to develop.

There is no cure for the disease and many sufferers have just months to live following diagnosis.

Mr Prestidge, who was a lifelong GMB member, was diagnosed with the cancer in July 2010. He was exposed to asbestos whilst working as a welder and boilermaker for Humber Graving Docks in Immingham from 1951 to 1986.

He worked on and off for the firm during that time and was exposed to the dust as he stripped asbestos lagging off pipes.

Many of his former colleagues suffered from asbestos related disease

The father of one, grandfather of three and great grandfather of two had seen many of his former colleagues suffer asbestos related disease.

His son David Winter said he was devastated when he was told about the diagnosis.

Mr Winter, who also worked as a welder and is a GMB member brought the claim on his mother’s behalf.

He contacted the GMB which instructed claims specialists Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a case for compensation. Thompsons successfully concluded the claim for substantial damages.

He said: “My dad’s illness and death happened so fast that claiming compensation was the last thing on his mind. Over the years I have watched my dad’s friends and my own colleagues develop asbestos related disease so we knew that the GMB would be the best people to help us.

“The claim has been dealt with so quickly and professionally by the union and Thompsons Solicitors. I’d like to thank them for their support. I’d also like to thank my father’s former work colleagues who stepped forward to be witnesses to help our claim.”

Employers held to account for his death

Andy Worth from the GMB said: “Exposure to asbestos has caused serious health problems for many of our members who worked without any protection or warning of the dangers. We offer support to all our members who are disabled by asbestos related disease.

Steve Fitzwalter from Thompsons Solicitors added:

“We know that this compensation can never make up for such a devastating personal loss but hope that it will bring some sense of closure for the family by holding his employers to account for his death.”