ASLEF asbestos win doesn’t bring health back

14 February 2007

An ASLEF member who developed an asbestos-related condition after years working on steam locomotives and electric trains has received £23,500 compensation through the union’s legal service.

Keith Taylor was diagnosed with pleural thickening – a scarring of the lining of the lungs – after working for British Rail and later Virgin Cross Country for most of his working life.

He began aged 16 as a steam locomotive cleaner in 1957 at the Bath Green Park depot before becoming a loco fireman. In both jobs he would disturb the asbestos cladding around the boilers.

In the late 1960s, Bro Taylor became a driver on third rail electric trains working out of Coulsdon North and Dorking. He was exposed to asbestos in the padding between the outer and inner skins of the train cabs and passenger compartments.

Bro Taylor said, ‘I was in good health until December 2004 when I woke early with a terrible pain in my side. I’ve been a very active person and a keen cyclist since retiring and moving to Plymouth but now I have trouble breathing when I walk up hill. I’m very grateful for the support ASLEF and union solicitors Thompsons have given me in securing compensation for my condition which was caused by asbestos exposure that no employer warned me about.

‘But I’d rather have my health back.’

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