Former employees of British Coal and British Steel have begun claims against their previous employers after many have contracted respiratory disorders.
The total number of claimants is around 300, all ex-coke workers who were employed in a range of job roles within the plants between the period from the 1940s to the 1980s.
Exposure to dust and fumes during their employment is thought to have been the cause of the lung cancers, COPD, chronic bronchitis and asthma that many have or had suffered from.
It is alleged that the employers did not correctly risk assess the dangers of working with coke ovens and did not provide the correct protective equipment and information required to prevent damage from dust and fumes generated during the coke making process.
Port Talbot is one of the steelworks which is under scrutiny; it has been described as ‘not a pleasant place to work’ by a former employee, Anthon Deaton. He said: “It was full of smoke and different gases and was just generally a dirty place.”
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Published on 16th February 2015.