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.