The widow of a steel worker has received £100,000 compensation after he died from mesothelioma.

The 74-year-old from Wales died in July 2007, 18 months after he was diagnosed with the cancer of the lining of the lungs.

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. There is no cure for the disease which affects up to 2,000 people a year.

Exposed to asbestos while working for Andrew Scott Ltd

He was exposed to asbestos while working for Andrew Scott Ltd as a maintenance worker at the Steel Company of Wales Ltd Port Talbot site, later owned by British Steel.

He worked for the company between 1957 and 1971. It was responsible for the structural maintenance of the site as well as building and installation work.

The dad of two and granddad to four was exposed to asbestos insulation on pipe work and furnaces.

He was never warned of the dangers of working with asbestos or given any protective equipment.

Workers were unaware of the dangers of working with asbestos

One of his former work colleagues said: “We were ignorant of the dangers of asbestos. We worked with it under our feet, kicked it around and paid no particular attention to it. We had no idea it would come back to haunt us in the future.”

He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in December 2005. Following his death his wife approached asbestos claim specialists Thompsons Solicitors for advice about compensation.

She said: “My husband gave his working life to Andrew Scott Limited but had no idea that his hard work would lead to this terrible disease mesothelioma.

“We never thought about claiming compensation while he was still alive but following his death I was advised to look into it. It is a great relief to finally have a sense of justice for my husband’s death.”

Mesothelioma affects many who worked in the steel industry

Eamonn McDonough from Thompsons Solicitors said: “Mesothelioma affects many who worked in the steel industry and this case shows how important it is to gather detailed information about the working environment and circumstances of asbestos exposure.

“Although we were not instructed until after death we were still able to build up a comprehensive picture of the exposure to asbestos by tracing and contacting former work colleagues who provided evidence which helped achieve a successful settlement for his family.”