A Lancashire joiner has been awarded a five figure sum in compensation, after developing a life threatening wood allergy.
Fifty seven year old Brian Ogden, from Royton, in Greater Manchester, was working for his brothers company Classic Joinery Manufacturers, when he first realised he had an adverse reaction to Iroko hardwood dust.
The Manchester Evening News reports that his first contact with the wood product was over twenty years ago, when he worked on a small number of projects using Iroko wood, he noticed that the dust irritated his eyes, nose and throat and caused him some breathing issues.
When the company won a large order which involved using Iroko timber, Mr. Ogden warned his employers of his allergy and he was given a protective mask containing an air filter.
However he soon developed flu like symptoms and was suffering breathing problems, he was eventually hospitalised, after his condition worsened and he had to be put on a drip due to the severity of his condition.
On his return to work the joiner was given a better mask but his symptoms returned when the battery failed and was never replaced.
Mr. Ogden launched a claim for industrial illness compensation against the company, who went into liquidation and ceased trading in 2009; he was awarded a reported five figure sum in damages.
An ex-steelworker from South Yorkshire has been awarded almost £5,000 in compensation, after noise exposure at work left him partially deaf.
Seventy nine year old Kenneth Clarkson, from Rotherham, has been left with permanent damage to his hearing and will have to wear a hearing aid for the rest of his life, after being exposed to excessive noise levels, while working at two different South Yorkshire steel mills.
He told the Star newspaper that the heavy machinery, steel rollers and furnaces at both JJ Habershon and Sons and at Tata Steel, where he spent most of his working career, produced a lot of noise but he was never offered any hearing protection by his employers.
After seeking legal advice Mr. Clarkson launched a claim for industrial deafness compensation, against the two companies and was awarded £4,710 in damages, which will help pay for his hearing aids and other adjustments he has been forced to make, due to his hearing problems.
A spokesperson from his legal team stated that cases like this highlighted the need for adequate health and safety measures, adding that employers had a duty of care to their workers, which included providing adequate protective equipment, when required.
A former employee of H.J Heinz Ltd has launched a £100,000 compensation claim against the company, after developing asbestosis.
The Brent and Kilburn Times is reporting that sixty seven year old Alan Simpson, was employed at the Heinz plant in Harlesden, where he claims he was exposed to deadly asbestos fibres at some point during his thirty year career.
Mr. Simpson, who currently lives in Milton Keynes, told the newspaper that he started work with the company shortly before his twenty first birthday as a line worker, before taking up a position as a trainee plumber in the firm’s maintenance department.
The Heinz plant which was one of the largest employers in the Brent area, closed down in the year 2000 but Mr. Simpson claims that during his time at the factory much of the pipe work there was lagged with blue asbestos, which was in a poor condition.
Mr. Simpson has now launched a claim for asbestos exposure compensation against the Wigan based company, after developing asbestosis in both of his lungs and according to a High Court writ, he is now fearful that he could develop the asbestos linked cancer, mesothelioma.
H.J Heinz Ltd has denied liability and unless a settlement can be reached in the near future, the case will be heard at the High Court in London.
A Derbyshire factory worker has been awarded £5,000 in compensation, after developing a painful skin complaint.
Paul Earnes, from Ashby first began showing symptoms of dermatitis while working for Hepworth Building Products in Swadlicote, where his job brought him into contact with harmful epoxy resins.
He was then transferred to a different department, after filling out a health form highlighting his condition; however in the April of 2009 he was once again given a job which exposed him to the resin.
As a result his condition returned, with his arms becoming swollen and his skin developing blisters and welts, he was once again taken away from working with the resin but continued to work in the same department.
The Burton Mail is reporting that it wasn’t until he took legal advice and launched a claim for industrial disease compensation, that he was finally moved away from the material causing his skin complaint.
Mr. Earnes was awarded £5,000 in compensation, after his legal team argued that the company had not done enough to protect the employee from the material causing his skin condition.
Hepworth Building Products which is owned by Wavin UK Holdings, of Blackfordby did not admit liability but agreed to settle the claim after a three year legal battle.
A great grandfather from South Tyneside has been awarded a six figure sum in compensation, after being exposed to deadly asbestos fibres, almost sixty years ago.
The Shield Gazette is reporting that seventy eight year old Sep Boulter, from Hebburn, was diagnosed with the asbestos related cancer mesothelioma, in the latter stages of last year.
Following his diagnosis Mr. Hebburn launched a claim for asbestos exposure compensation and it was discovered that the cause of his terminal illness could be traced back to the time he was employed as an ‘office boy’, for the Mercantile Dry Dock Company, of Jarrow, over sixty years ago.
He told the newspaper that it was hard to believe, that his present condition was caused by exposure to asbestos from when he was just a fifteen year old boy and doing his rounds at the Mercantile.
A representative from his legal team stated that Mr. Hebburn was never warned about the presence of asbestos in his working environment and was never informed of the possible risk to his health.
Mr. Hebburn, a father of four, was awarded a ‘substantial’ six figure sum in damages, after the case against his former employers was settled out-of-court.
A former Nottinghamshire coal miner suffering from the asbestos related cancer mesothelioma has been awarded £70,000 in compensation.
The BBC News Nottingham is reporting that ninety two year old Dennis Ball, from Beeston, spent his early working life as a member of the British armed forces, spending ten years in the Royal Navy, before starting work in the coal mining industry in 1964.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change admitted that Mr. Ball was exposed to the deadly asbestos fibres while working at both the Sutton Colliery and the Moor Green Colliery, in Nottinghamshire.
Mr. Ball was employed by British Coal for a period of over twenty years but since being diagnosed with mesothelioma he has been forced to move into a nursing home, completely losing his independence.
He was awarded £70,000 in asbestos compensation at the High Court in London, where Mrs Justice Swift stated that the disease had had “a devastating effect on his life”.
A representative from Mr. Ball’s legal team stated that the case paved the way for other elderly sufferers of mesothelioma to receive compensation for the pain and distress caused by this devastating illness, “regardless of age”.
Former mill workers from Lancashire have been awarded almost £40,000 in compensation, after becoming victims of industrial deafness.
The Lancashire Telegraph is reporting that legal action was taken against the former Perseverance Mill in Padiham, Caledonia Textiles in Burnley, and the Smith and Nephew mill in Brierfield, even though the companies have now closed down or moved away from the East Lancashire area.
Cases of industrial deafness can occur many years after an employee stops working in a noisy environment but a claim can still be made as long as the companies’ former insurers can be traced.
Many of the claims which have been settled over the last two years, involved weavers who worked with giant looms at the old Perseverance Mill in Albion Street, including an out of court payment of £4,000 awarded to a loom supervisor, who is now forced to lip read when in a social situation.
A cotton weaver employed at the same factory now suffers with mild hearing loss and tinnitus, which is a ringing or buzzing sound in the ears caused by prolonged exposure to excessive noise.
Workers at the mills were reportedly subjected to noise levels of between 93 decibels and 102 decibels on a regular basis, which is almost the equivalent of standing seven metres away from a pneumatic drill.
A carpenter come handyman has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), after releasing deadly asbestos fibres during building work at a flat in the West Midlands.
Solihull Magistrates’ Court was told that tradesman William Rogers, from Rowlands Way, in Yardley, was refurbishing a flat in Masons Way, Olton and had removed a partition wall which contained insulating board made from asbestos.
As a result both Mr. Rogers and the flats tenant, who asked not to be named, were exposed to the potentially lethal asbestos fibres.
An investigation by the HSE revealed that Mr. Rogers had mistakenly believed he was dealing with asbestos cement, which does not require specialised removal, unfortunately this was not the case and the handyman contaminated the kitchen of the flat and the communal stairs with asbestos debris.
Mr. Rogers was fined £600 and ordered to pay court costs totalling £1,799, after he admitted a breach of the Control of Asbestos Regulations.
Speaking after the court hearing a HSE inspector stated that Mr. Rogers had gone ahead with the refurbishment project despite being informed by the flats landlord that the walls contained asbestos.
Asbestos exposure is responsible for an estimated 4,000 deaths every year, in the UK alone and remains the biggest single cause of occupational death.
A Cardiff based letting agency has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), after a handyman was exposed to potentially lethal asbestos dust.
The self-employed handyman, who asked not to be named, carried out regular repairs on domestic properties managed by Rochefort Shugar Ltd, of Cathedral Road, in Cardiff.
Barry Magistrates’ Court was told that the handyman had been sent to a property in Sully, to repair a leaky porch roof but as he removed a panel from the damaged area, he realised that it was asbestos insulation board.
An investigation by the HSE revealed that the asbestos-containing insulation board, had been broken during removal and the nearby area had been contaminated with asbestos debris.
The resulting sweeping up and removal of the board would have resulted in a significant number of asbestos fibres becoming airborne and although the handyman wore a dust mask he did not wear a disposable suit or undergo any de-contamination procedure.
Rochefort Shugar Ltd, was fined £1,500 after admitting a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act, they were also ordered to pay £2,500 in court costs.
Asbestos fibres are responsible for a number of industrial diseases including mesothelioma, asbestosis and pleural thickening and result in the premature deaths of almost 4,000 workers every year.
Hundreds of ex-employees of a smokeless fuel plant in Wales are to make a group claim for industrial disease compensation.
The 300 strong group, were all employed at the Phurnacite plant at Abercwmboi, in the Cynon Valley and claim that exposure to damaging dust and fumes at the factory has led to workers suffering from a number of work related cancers and respiratory diseases, such as Chronic Bronchitis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
The Phurnacite plant was originally owned by a private concern, until the National Coal board came into existence and took responsibility for the plant in 1947, at its peak the factory produced over one million smokeless fuel briquettes every year and employed over a 1,000 people from the Cynon Valley.
A legal representative for the claimants stated that as coal arrived at the plant for processing, water sprinklers often had to be used to control the high levels of dust but workers had little or no personal protection.
He went on to say that employees worked in a very dusty, dirty environment and workers would often have to unload solid pitch from railway wagons by hand, which would then require breaking up using picks and hammers.
The claim is due to be held at the Civil Justice Centre in Cardiff and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), who are responsible for British Coal intend to defend the charges.