Workers at the smokeless fuel plant in Abercwmboi, Rhondda Cynon Taf have won their battle in the High Court, where they claimed that British Coal failed to provide them with the protect that they needed and claim that a number of them developed lung cancer and other respiratory diseases as a result of the companies negligence.
The problem with the case, stated by the lawyers, is that cancer and these other diseases are difficult to prove, as they affect the general population also and it is difficult to link them to be a direct result of working conditions. In this case, the court ruled that lung cancer, emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but claimed that there was not enough evidence to agree that skin cancer and bladder cancer were caused as a result of working at the plant.
The plant operated for 50 years, during which time it produced briquette for smokeless fuel, and workers were exposed on a constant basis to dust and fumes which were carcinogenic.
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