A member of Unite the Union has received compensation after he was diagnosed with a fatal asbestos disease.

Alan Garner from Thurrock in Essex was diagnosed with cancer of the lining of the lung, mesothelioma in June 2012.

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and there is no cure for the disease, which can take up to 40 years to develop.

Mr Garner, who is married with one daughter and one granddaughter, was exposed to asbestos while working as a fitter for a Power Station between 1963 to 1993. His exposure to asbestos continued until the 1980s.

Never warned about the dangers of asbestos or provided with any protection

In the early days he was never warned about the dangers of asbestos or provided with any protection.

Following his diagnosis Mr Garner contacted his trade union, Unite, for advice. Unite referred him to specialist lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim.

The claim was successfully settled against the company which now holds responsibility for the power station’s liabilities.

Mr Garner said: “During the early years at the power station I was never told that the material we were working with was dangerous. Some members of management completely disregarded the health and safety protocols, exposing all of us to the dust.

“By claiming compensation I wanted to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos. The support I received from my union has helped me feel a sense that justice has been done.”

Peter Kavanagh from Unite the Union added: “Our members who have worked in the manufacturing, power generation and construction industry are among the highest risk of becoming victims of asbestos disease. Asbestos was banned years ago but its legacy of illness and misery has not gone and will continue for many years. Unite’s free legal service ensures our members and their families receive support and specialist advice when they need it.

Lorna Webster from Thompsons Solicitors said: “Mr Garner’s employers were well aware of the dangers of asbestos but continued to allow their workforce to be exposed. By contacting his union soon after he was diagnosed with asbestos disease he has received the compensation he is entitled to quickly and at no cost.”