A group of 183 workers from South Wales, UK have finally won their claim for health and safety damages in the High Court after claiming that they had been exposed to toxic fumes and dust while on the job.
The health and safety compensation claim was submitted by a solicitor on behalf of the workers at the Abercwmboi Phurnacite Works which is located within Aberaman. The plant is located in South Wales, in the Cynon Valley area. This particular plant has been closed since 1990; however several of the workers who were previously employed there have suffered long term respiratory ailments and have even developed cancers in the years since. Some workers had symptoms which appeared right away and others had longer term or chronic problems which did not appear until many years later.
The solicitors argued in the case that the companies directing the work in the plant did not follow correct health and safety regulations when working with toxic chemicals and caused their workers to be exposed to dangerous levels of toxins and pollutants. Whenever workers are in danger of being exposed to possibly harmful materials, it is the responsibility of the company to follow the appropriate health and safety procedures in order to protect them.
The legal teams which were defending the workers managed to determine that the companies involved, including Coal Products Limited and the Department of Energy and Climate Change, were responsible for breaches in health and safety which caused the illnesses in the eight main cases. Medical causation was proved undeniably in four out of those eight cases.
The investigation will go on to examine the cases of a further 166 claimants. If medical causation can be proved in any of these cases, the workers will receive a level of compensation which could range from £4,500 to £119,310. According to Kathryn Singh, the solicitor at Hugh James who was working on the case, the workers were very pleased after finding out that they are finally eligible for damages. They had been working towards this victory for a very long time and the workers and their families are pleased to know that they will be compensated for their expenses.