A former stone mason who contracted a lung disease he blamed on breathing in dust has won a payout from bosses at the quarry where he worked for a decade.

The 61-year-old Shipley man was forced to give up work, suffers severe breathing difficulties and struggles to walk or climb stairs after contracting silicosis, a rare illness which had been caused by inhaling silica dust, his solicitors said.

Ian Bailey, head of the industrial illness team at solicitors Irwin Mitchell said the man, who does not want to be named, contracted the disease while working for Fagley Quarry, in Fagley Lane, Eccleshill, Bradford.

He had worked there for ten years and “was not provided with suitable protecting breathing equipment”, said Mr Bailey.

The firm negotiated “a substantial settlement” to cover the cost of his lost earnings and provide for his care when the condition deteriorates, he said.

The solicitor is now warning companies across the Bradford district to make sure workers are properly protected at work after the stone mason accepted compensation from his former employer.

Mr Bailey said: “Occupational illness can have a devastating effect on the lives of victims, and it is vital that more is done to protect workers.

“The industry is increasingly aware of mesothelioma – a lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos – and on the whole companies are better at protecting workers from asbestos than they were 30 or 40 years ago. Sadly this isn’t the case for all occupational diseases.

“Silicosis is not a harmless condition. It can be severely disabling and carries with it the risk of lung cancer in the future.”

Doctors diagnosed silicosis in 2006 and the man had to leave his work three years later because of his ill health.

Mr Bailey said there were fewer than 100 new cases of the rare disease each year. He said: “This is still 100 workers whose lives are being ruined.”

No-one at Fagley Quarries Ltd was available for comment when contacted by the Telegraph & Argus.