David Marren, 63, from Rugby in Warkwickshire was diagnosed with mesothelioma in February 2009.

He has spoken of his relief in obtaining compensation with the support of his trade union Unite.

There is no cure for mesothelioma, a type of cancer of the lining of the lung, which is caused by exposure to asbestos. The disease develops many decades after the asbestos exposure and sufferers often have just months to live following diagnosis.

Mr Marren contacted his trade union which instructed specialist lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim for compensation.

Thompsons proved Mr Marren was negligently exposed to asbestos working for English Electric, now Alstom Ltd, as an apprentice engineer commissioning a turbine on Power Station C at Drakelow Power Station in Burton on Trent between 1963 and 1968.

Mr Marren, who has a wife and daughter, said he was never warned about the dangers or provided with any protection despite working among asbestos on a daily basis.

National Asbestos Exposure Register

Many years later he became aware of the diseases caused by asbestos when his union launched a National Asbestos Exposure Register.

He said: “It was a huge shock for all the family when I was diagnosed with mesothelioma. I had months of tests and finding a diagnosis seemed difficult. Fortunately they found it early enough to give me treatment. My health hasn’t been good in recent months and I fear for what the future will hold.

“However, it’s a great relief to know the compensation claim has been settled and that my wife and family will not be left worrying about how to make ends meet.”

Mick Stevens from Unite said: “We encourage all our members who believe they have been exposed to asbestos at work to have those details recorded on the union’s National Asbestos Exposure Register. The register helps pin point exactly where and when members were exposed to the deadly dust.”

David Fisher from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Fortunately Mr Marren had provided an in-depth record of his exposure to asbestos. The information on the union’s asbestos register helped us to complete this claim within 10 months. It is vitally important to mesothelioma sufferers to have the choice of bringing the claim to a conclusion within their lifetime and to know that their loved ones will be provided for in the future.”