A former steelworker has been compensated after developing a lung disease caused by exposure to asbestos while working at two Nottinghamshire power stations in the 1960s.

78-year-old Howard Pickersgill worked at power stations in Nottinghamshire between 1965 and 1970, where he would build steel structures as colleagues mixed asbestos nearby which would cause dust to settle on his skin and clothes.

Howard was never provided with respiratory safety equipment or warned about the dangers of asbestos during his employment at the power stations.

After learning that a former colleague had passed away from asbestos-related cancer, Howard attended his doctor and was sent for x-rays, which found that his lung function had deteriorated as a result of inhaling asbestos dust.

He contacted asbestos disease specialists, Thompsons Solicitors, to investigate a compensation claim.

Thompsons’ investigations pinpointed when and where Howard was exposed to asbestos, which led to the case being settled on a provisional basis, so that if he develops serious deterioration due to asbestos disease in the future he can reopen his claim.

Howard said: “No one was ever made aware of the debilitating effect of asbestos when I worked at the power stations.

“Hearing about the death of my colleague really hit home. I obviously knew there was a very real possibility that I could have developed an asbestos-related disease, but I was still in disbelief when I was diagnosed.

“At the moment my health remains relatively stable so I’m still trying to keep busy around the house, but I do worry about what the future might hold for me. Thompsons were brilliant, making sure I understood how to make a claim and keeping me up to date every step of the way. I’m grateful that I have provisions in place to reopen my claim in the future if my condition gets worse.”

Marion Voss, a specialist asbestos solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “The horrors of asbestos exposure have been well documented for years, but its legacy is still unfolding, which means that we are seeing new cases like Howard’s all too often.

“In settling the claim we have ensued he receives immediate compensation for his current disability, but that importantly he also benefits from the protection of a court order, which guarantees his right to reopen the claim for further compensation if he suffers serious deterioration in his condition due to asbestos disease any time in the future.”