The family of a Unite member who developed a fatal disease after being exposed to asbestos throughout his career has received compensation.

Alfred Healey died in 2014 after being diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease mesothelioma.

He worked as a mechanical fitter at various power stations across East Midlands from 1953 until the early 1990s, where he would perform maintenance work on turbine generators and boilers at the plants. In order to do this, he would knock off asbestos used to insulate the machinery with a small axe, creating dust that would circulate around him.

Alfred was not provided with suitable breathing protection and the areas he worked in were poorly ventilated.

"Dad dedicated his career to his employer, but as a result he developed mesothelioma, so I’m glad that Unite Legal Services and Thompsons Solicitors were able to hold them accountable for what they did."

Daughter of Alfred Healey, an asbestos disease client of Thompsons Solicitors

His family assisted him in contacting his union, Unite, and instructed Thompsons Solicitors to make a claim.

His daughter said: “It was awful for our family to see my dad fall ill so rapidly. We did all we could to help him out but it got to the point where he couldn’t even fill out medical forms without our support. It’s not fair that his work left him like that.

“His union membership meant that he had legal specialists to assist him throughout the claim, who acted for the benefit of my family and kept us well advised as to the steps required. I can’t stress enough how much of a help this was. Even after he died they continued to support us, especially my mum, when we needed it the most.

“Dad dedicated his career to his employer, but as a result he developed mesothelioma, so I’m glad that Unite Legal Services and Thompsons Solicitors were able to hold them accountable for what they did.”

Kevin Hepworth, East Midlands regional legal officer at Unite the Union, said: “Alfred was first exposed to asbestos more than 60 years ago, and his routine work with the asbestos lagging would continue to damage his lungs throughout his career, with the effects only manifesting years after retirement.

“As a member of Unite, Alfred was entitled to free specialist legal guidance, so he could focus on spending time with his family following his diagnosis while we investigated his work history and made sure that the insurer responsible was made to pay compensation.”