A dad with terminal cancer who believes his condition was caused by his old job at a South Yorkshire coking plant is suing his former employer.
Terry Jones, aged 54, from Killamarsh, manned the ovens at the Orgreave coking plant throughout the 1980s and was diagnosed with lung cancer four years ago.
Terry is one of more than 300 former coke oven workers from across the country who are taking legal action against British Steel and British Coal, as they believe that cancers and respiratory diseases they are now suffering from were caused by exposure to harmful dust and fumes.
Dozens are from South Yorkshire, and law firm Irwin Mitchell, which is bringing the cases, believes the number from the county could eventually exceed 100.
He said: “The ovens were running for 24 hours a day. It was so dusty and dirty and the fumes were overwhelming, but we were only given small dust masks which did very little to protect us.
“I was devastated when I found out about the terminal cancer. It was a massive shock and it’s been a difficult four years. Hopefully now the legal action will provide us victims and our families the justice we deserve as well as the knowledge that they will have some financial security when I’m gone.”
The new case follows a High Court judgement against a phurnacite plant in South Wales last year, which ruled the Coal Board had not done enough to protect workers from fumes.
Terry worked for British Steel at the Brookhouse coking plant for two years before moving to Orgreave.
Roger Maddocks, from Irwin Mitchell, said: “Hundreds are now suffering from terrible conditions simply because of the work they carried out on a day-to-day basis. Employees have a basic right to be able to go to work and return home safely at the end of the day.”
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