The Steel Workers of Great Britain…Further Misery
Once again we find ourselves reporting on the UK’s ever failing steel industry and the woes it has given to some of our countries hardest working people. In October 2015 it was reported that a large number of steel workers (around 2,000) based in the North East were to be laid off  and in January we posted further news that another 1,000 workers were to be laid off in Port Talbot, South Wales.
Since then, things have gone from bad to worse for the steel industry and TATA Steel have this week announced that the whole plant in Port Talbot is to be sold along with four other small plants, leaving its entire workforce of 5,500 unemployed. The buck does not stop there though as it is being reported that the plant closures could affect up to 15,000 jobs across the UK.
Councillor, Tony Taylor has agreed that it will have a wide effect and has said “You’ve got to take into account about 3,000 directly employed, 3,000 contractors, 6,000 in the supply chain and then you’ve got people who rely on the steel industry. You’re talking about 15,000 jobs could be lost in a community like Neath Port Talbot.”
For decades, steel workers have endured tough working conditions due to the noise, heat and extreme hazards found in foundries. Health and safety has improved over the last 20 years and across the UK most workers are provided with hearing protection, hard hats, safety goggles and protective clothing/PPE. Despite improvements many workers suffer from conditions directly caused by their working environment such as occupational asthma, hearing loss and dermatitis.
Occupational asthma and other respiratory conditions are common in steel plants due to fumes created during many of the steel making processes.
Widely considered one of the noisiest environments to work in, the steel industry has seen major problems arising from the excessive levels of noise found in steel works. Loud blast furnaces, CNC milling machines, forging and casting are just some of the noisiest working areas that contribute to hearing loss amongst steel workers.
Instances of dermatitis or other skin conditions caused by working in the steel industry are common. Certain chemicals used throughout various processes can cause reactions if exposed to the skin, resulting in occupational dermatitis.
It is important to highlight the working conditions steel workers have faced during their working life to understand why it is such a travesty for these people soon to be out of work. They have battled through thick and thin and put their health on the line consistently in order to prop up one of the country’s industrial pillars to be cast aside when a better option or deal has come along.
Roberts Jackson Solicitors speak with steel workers on a daily basis and are currently fighting the corner for them on a legal basis due to some of the conditions mentioned above. We can offer you free legal advice and a no win no fee service if you believe that working in the steel industry has affected your health/caused a health condition to develop or worsen. To get in touch simply fill the form in on the right hand side of this page or call our Freephone number: 0800 001 4496.