UK solicitor explains the types of industrial disease compensation claims you might have if you worked in deep coal mines in collieries based in Scotland and England – including noise induced hearing loss, vibration white finger and coal miners pneumoconiosis
Deep coal miner question
I worked in a deep coal mine in a colliery in Ayrshire for approximately 15 years between mid 1970 to late 1980’s. My main job was working with a haulage machine and a hydraulic digger.
The haulage machine worked continuously moving men, equipment and coal through the pit. This machine was extremely noisy and the operating system caused a great amount of vibration.
The hydraulic digger was also extremely noisy and caused a large amount of vibration.
For the full 15 years in addition to excessive noise and vibration I was exposed to coal dust which I breathed in to my lungs day in day out. When I finished work I was covered from head to toe in black coal dust.
Before I left work at the deep mine in Ayrshire I noticed that the tips of my fingers in my hands caused me pain and I had a tingling sensation. In the cold they would turn white.
Over the least couple of years I have noticed that my hearing is appalling – I went to see my doctor and had my ears tested and I was told that I was suffering from 60% hearing loss which was due to noise exposure.
In the last couple of weeks I was referred by my GP to a specialist at the hospital about my shortness of breath – scans were performed and I was told that I am suffering from coal miners’ pneumoconiosis or black lung.
It is many years since I worked at the Ayrshire colliery, but I believe my illnesses were caused from my work in the mines with the National Coal Board as no hearing or breathing protection was ever provided.
Is it too late to claim as the Coal Board no longer exists?
Industrial disease solicitor response
Ayrshire clearly is based in Scotland and as such is subject to Scottish law, but for the purpose of assessing whether you have a claim the law across the UK is similar for the conditions you have suffered.
It seems that your conditions were brought on by the conditions at work – protection should have been provided from vibration, coal dust and from excessive noise from the haulage machine and the hydraulic digger. As no protection was provided and the knowledge of your injuries is within the last three years it would seem you are still in time to make a claim.
The fact that the NCB is no longer in existence does not matter so long as your claim can be proved.
You must now act quickly and speak to a specialist miners injury compensation solicitor to commence claiming compensation for industrial deafness, VWF and black lung disease as the court process can take sometime.