A PENSIONER who developed a disabling medical condition from working in a roofing materials factory where asbestos was frequently present has been awarded compensation.

Arthur Collins, now 75, worked for more than 30 years as a plant operator at Ellesmere Port factory HH Robertson and was exposed to asbestos on a daily basis until the late 1980s.

He was diagnosed with asbestosis, a condition that greatly increases the risk of lung cancer, in November 2009 after suffering from breathlessness.

Mr Collins, of Ellesmere Port, sought advice from asbestos claims solicitors Thompsons in Liverpool, who have now settled his case for the provisional compensation of a currently undisclosed sum.

This means his case can be reopened if his illness gets worse.

Thousands across the country have died as a result of mesothelioma, having contracted the disease working on buildings or with materials containing the substance.

Mr Collins said: “Over the years I’ve watched many of my friends develop asbestos disease and some die from mesothelioma – asbestos related cancer.

“It was my worst fear that it would affect me too.

“Asbestosis has left me breathless and unable to do many of the things I used to do. I live in terror that I will get cancer in the future.

“This compensation gives me some peace of mind but it is also important to me that if my condition does worsen then I can reopen the claim,” he added.

Joanne Candlish, head of the Liverpool Asbestos Team from Thompsons Solicitors told The Pioneer that Mr Collins and his colleagues had been regularly exposed to sheets of felt asbestos during their working lives.

“Mr Collins has been left with a debilitating disease as well as the fear that his condition will worsen following years of negligent exposure to asbestos in the workplace,” she explained.

“He now has the security of a court order that if his condition does deteriorate in the future or his worst fears are realised he can reopen his case and claim further compensation.”