Former Unite rep is compensated for asbestos disease

A Yorkshire man has received £38,000 compensation after developing the asbestos-related condition, diffuse pleural thickening. 

Roy Green was exposed to asbestos throughout his career. From 1955 he was employed as a steel erector, where he worked alongside colleagues who were insulating pipework and machinery with asbestos. His employer did not provide protection to prevent him breathing in asbestos.

In the 1980s he also worked with asbestos at a number of power stations where he dismantled boilers and ducting lagged with asbestos for a Rotherham-based demolition firm. 

When Roy began suffering from a persistent chest infection he visited his GP, who referred him for an x-ray. He was later diagnosed with diffuse pleural thickening. 

Roy, who was a Unite representative during his career, contacted Unite Legal Services to investigate a compensation claim on his behalf.

He said: “I used to enjoy working on my car and doing DIY but today I can’t even bend over without being out of breath. Over the past few years I’ve found myself really slowing down - everyday tasks like shopping seem to take forever.

“I had actually heard about the dangers of asbestos after my retirement, which concerned me a lot as I knew I been exposed to it in my line of work. Nonetheless, that didn’t prepare me for how would I feel when I was diagnosed, and I knew then I had to get in touch with Unite.” 

Karen Reay, North East, Yorkshire and Humberside regional secretary at Unite the Union, said: “Roy worked in a variety of roles during his career but unfortunately he wasn’t adequately protected against the dangers of asbestos.

“Although Roy has contracted a disabling condition that could have been avoided if his former employers had taken adequate precautions, he did the right thing by contacting Unite Legal Services and has received full compensation.”