A man who developed lung disease as a result of exposure to oil mist at his workplace has secured a five-figure injury compensation settlement as a result of the successful negotiations of his specialist industrial disease lawyers.
The man worked as a machine operator on a production line on which oil-cooled machinery was used. During production, the oil coolant was known to ‘mist’ after it reached high temperatures. This should have been captured by a combination of extractors and filters. However, despite a number of complaints by staff that the extraction system was not working effectively, no repair work was carried out. As a result the man was forced to continue working in the unsafe environment. It was also found that alternative protective equipment such as face masks were not made available, nor were staff rotated to ensure exposure to the hazardous area was minimised.
The employer accepted liability for the industrial disease, although lawyers still had to take court proceedings after unacceptably low initial offers of compensation were made. In the end, a settlement was agreed before the case came to court.
As a result of the case, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) attended the site. There are now new processes in place and alternative extraction equipment has been installed.