A POSTAL worker who cut asbestos roof panels as one of his first jobs ended up developing cancer 40 years later, an inquest heard.

For three of four years, early in his career, William Tucker worked for a Manchester firm, erecting concrete and absestos garages, Burnley Coroner’s Court was told.

In a statement taken before his death last November, Mr Tucker said the asbestos sheets used for the roof were too large and need cutting down to size.

Back at the factory he would also cut sheets of asbestos with a band-saw and would carry them across the site, the inquest heard.

Mr Tucker, of Jubilee Road, Haslingden, said: “The dust from cutting these sheets was considerable and you would end up covered in dust not only from the wood but also from the asbestos.”

The inquest was told that around three years ago he was diagnosed with pneumonia and pleurisy, and he was also complaining of chest pains.

He later confirmed to doctors that he had worked with asbestos and he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Before his death he lodged a legal claim for compensation with his original firm.

Consultant pathologist Dr Zuhir Twage said an analysis of Mr Tucker’s lungs showed a high asbestos fibre count. He was also found to have tumours in his chest and liver.

East Lancashire coroner Richard Taylor recorded an industrial disease verdict.