A former apprentice lagger is set to receive a substantial sum in compensation because of exposure to asbestos in the workplace.

Michael Avery, 66, from Higher Walton in Preston was diagnosed with disabling asbestos related disease pleural thickening in 2006.

His diagnosis came just a few months after being told he had pleural plaques, a scarring of the lungs caused by asbestos.

Pleural thickening left Michael short of breath and unable to carry out every day tasks like gardening.

Exposed to asbestos at work

He was exposed to asbestos while working as an apprentice lagger for Northern Insulation (Stockton) Ltd between 1958 and 1959.

Mr Avery said: “My job was to mix asbestos cement on the floor with a shovel. It was very dusty work. As I mixed the dry asbestos I would inhale the dust. I used to wear a scarf over my mouth to keep the dust out, but it was useless. I would spend most of the day covered in white dust from head to toe. It was like being in a bag of flour.”

Mr Avery was never given any protection and was not warned by his employers about the dangers of working with asbestos.

The condition means he must rely on his three children to carry out housework and DIY around his home.

Pleural thickening can be a severe and debilitating disease

Following his diagnosis he contacted Thompsons Solicitors to claim compensation.

He said: “Claiming compensation was very important. I continued working right up to my retirement despite being breathless but it restricted how many shifts I could work. Since my retirement my condition has worsened. It was important to me to make sure my former employers were held responsible for my ill health.”

Thompsons was successful in achieving a settlement from Northern Insulation on the day the case was due to go to trial. Northern Insulation admitted liability for exposing Mr Avery to asbestos.

Steven Dickens of Thompsons Solicitors added: “Pleural thickening can be a severe and debilitating disease. We have helped many workers who have been harmed by asbestos to claim compensation. This not only helps them financially but it also enables them to know that the employer who damaged their health was made to accept legal responsibility.”