The widow of a man who had worked as an engineer for a water company has won compensation after he died of an asbestos-related disease.

David Bean had worked for Bristol Water since the 1950s, eventually retiring in 1992. He frequently visited pumping stations that housed large boilers covered with asbestos lagging. Despite the dangers to health posed by asbestos, however, he was not provided with protective clothing.

In September 2010, Mr Bean began to experience breathing problems along with chest pains and coughing. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma and passed away within six months of the diagnosis.

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer of the lining of the lungs that is usually caused by exposure to asbestos fibres and for which there is no cure. It often lies dormant for many years before symptoms are experienced, by which time the disease is often at an advanced stage.

After his death, Mr Bean’s widow brought a claim against Bristol Water. The company admitted liability and agreed to pay £290,000 in damages.

If employers fail to take appropriate measures to prevent exposure to substances that can damage the health of employees, they can be liable to pay compensation for the resulting illnesses. If you or someone you know has suffered ill health as a result of exposure to harmful substances in the workplace, contact one of our personal injury specialists for advice. We are experienced in handling claims for all kinds of industrial injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive has information about asbestos on its website at