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Industrial Disease Claims

Coke Oven Workers Compensation

Following a landmark judgement in 2012, it's been proven that the dust and fumes from the production and use of coke fuel can cause serious respiratory illnesses. If you worked extensively on or around coke ovens and have since become ill, our solicitors could help you claim compensation.

Exposure to dust and fumes has been found to cause lung cancer, emphysema, COPD, Chronic Bronchitis, and a number of other serious respiratory problems that you could be able to claim for.

In addition to coke oven workers compensation, you may also be entitled to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB), a benefit paid to former coke oven workers who have developed lung cancer, and our lawyers can help you apply for this.

Claiming from a former employer, or completing an application to the Department for Work and Pensions for IIDB, can be a daunting prospect for some, particularly if you're suffering from ill health. That's why it can help to have the experts on your side – we handle every aspect of your case, offering expert advice and support every step of the way.

Contact us on 0800 056 4110 for a free consultation today. We'll be happy to discuss your case, what you could be entitled to claim, and what your options are. There's no obligation to continue, so you've got nothing to lose by giving us a call.

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Coke Oven Workers Compensation - More Info:
    • How Much Compensation Can I Expect?
    • How much compensation you receive after a work-related illness will depend on a few factors related to your illness, its circumstances, and the support and rehabilitation you need.

      The amount of compensation you could claim is based on:

      • Current and future loss of earnings
      • Medical and travel expenses you've had to pay
      • Your care and support needs – both now and in the future
      • Modifications to your home
      • Mobility aids
      • Your pain and suffering

      For more information, call us on 0800 056 4110 and we'll be happy to discuss your options in a free initial consultation.

    • Can I Make A No Win No Fee* Claim?
    • Many of our cases are funded with a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there’s no financial risk* to you when making a compensation claim.

      At the start of your case, we'll discuss funding options with you, advising you which we think is most suitable. If you have legal expenses insurance (LEI) or are covered by a trade union policy, these may be best for you. Legal expenses insurance is included in many household or car insurance policies, so it’s always worth checking whether you’re already covered.

      If we think you're best supported by a No Win No Fee* agreement, we'll explain the process clearly. You'll only have to pay anything if your claim is successful – your opponent will pay most of our fees, with the remaining costs coming out of your compensation settlement.

      Please visit our No Win No Fee page for more information on how it works.

    • How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?
    • Usually you need to make a compensation claim within three years of becoming aware that your illness might be linked to your work.

      In fatal cases, the family of the deceased has three years to make a claim, starting from either the date your loved one died, or the date you received the post-mortem results.

      If your illness occurred while working outside of the UK, then the time limit can be shorter. In this instance, it's vital that you contact us as soon as possible.

      If you have any concerns or questions about the time limit for claiming compensation, call our team today on 0800 056 4110 for free initial advice and to talk through your options.

    • Can I Get Early Compensation Payments?
    • Early compensation payments, also known as interim payments, are made in advance of any final settlement. They’re only made in an agreement with your opponent, if they admit that they're responsible for your illness.

      Interim payments can be used to replace lost earnings, so you can afford to pay essential bills if your illness has meant you’ve been absent from work, as well as covering the cost of specialist medical care or mobility equipment.

      We'll work hard to get an early admission of fault, and also to obtain early compensation payments to relieve any immediate financial pressures you’re feeling.

    • Will I Lose My Job If I Claim Against My Employers?
    • If you wish to make a claim against your current employer, then any compensation would be paid by their insurer. It has been compulsory to have insurance for many years, so it’s highly likely that they will have this in place. There are also legal safeguards in place to protect you from unfair dismissal.

      This basically means that your employer must be able to justify their reason for dismissing you in relation to your claim, which is highly unlikely. If you want to discuss this subject in more detail, our workplace illness solicitors will be able to talk you through your rights and what you can expect.

The compensation is far more than I ever expected, and I am naturally delighted with this outcome - I am quite sure I could never have achieved this on my own."

Joan, client

Frequently Asked Questions

What Illnesses Are Caused By Working With Coke Ovens?

During the process of heating coal to make coke, gas, dust and fumes would escape from coke ovens through the lids and doors, exposing employees working both on and around them.

Employers have a duty of care to their employees, and we believe coke oven operators didn't go far enough in maintaining the lids and doors of the ovens to prevent workers being exposed to dust and fumes from the ovens.

It's also clear in many cases that workers weren't provided with enough protective equipment, such as air-fed helmets, to protect them from these risks.

In many cases, this has led to serious illnesses, including:

  • Lung cancer
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Emphysema
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Squamous cell skin cancer
  • Significant worsening of existing asthma symptoms

If you've developed a respiratory illness after working with coke ovens for an extended period, you could be able to claim compensation, or government benefits set up to help people who have suffered from an industrial accident or illness. Contact us on 0800 056 4110 for a free consultation, where we will discuss your condition, and advise you on what your options are.

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What Is The Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit Scheme, And How Does It Work?

The Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) Scheme provides a benefit that can be paid to an employed earner because of an industrial accident or prescribed disease.

The scheme covers over 70 of these prescribed diseases, and as of August 2012, the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council recommended that Lung Cancer in Coke Oven Workers be recognised as one too.

Lung Cancer in Coke Oven Workers is now known as Prescribed Disease D10, and the benefit has been payable since October 2012.

You can claim for IIDB if you're a former coke oven worker who was employed:

  • On the oven tops for five years or more
  • On the coke oven sides for 15 years or more
  • On a combination of oven top and sides work for 15 years or more, where each year on the oven top is treated as if it were three years of other coke work

The amount you receive depends upon the level of disability suffered as a result of your illness; the rates are reviewed each year. Read more about the benefits scheme and current rates in our Welfare Services guide.

To apply for IIDB, you need to complete a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) claim form (Form BI100PD), available from the DWP website. Alternatively, our specialist work-related illness solicitors can help you complete the form, and will submit it on your behalf.

The DWP may assume that working with coke ovens was the cause of your lung cancer if you were still employed when the disease began. If not, you'll have to prove that the cancer was caused by work.

Once your claim has been submitted, the DWP will try to confirm that you worked in the coke ovens by contacting your employer, former employer, or HM Revenue & Customs. If the DWP verifies your employment, your claim will be assessed by a doctor appointed by the DWP, and you may be asked to attend a medical examination.

The DWP will then decide, based on the doctor’s advice, whether or not your claim is accepted. If so, they'll tell you the amount of benefit you're entitled to. Generally, if your claim is accepted, the benefit is paid directly into your bank account every week.

If you've got any questions about IIDB, and how we can help with a claim, contact us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation.

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Why Choose Irwin Mitchell For A Coke Oven Workers Compensation Claim?

We have a great deal of experience in helping former coke oven workers claim compensation and Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, both for individual and large group claims.

We've been involved in a large number of high-profile claims for coke oven workers, including a Group Action claim against British Coal, Coal Products Limited and National Smokeless Fuels Limited on behalf of over 350 former coke oven workers. We understand the devastating effect that respiratory diseases can have on workers and their families, and offer the highest level of legal expertise in respiratory disease claims with care and sensitivity.

Our workplace illness lawyers are experts in cases involving respiratory diseases, and also specialise in compensation claims for silicosis, occupational asthma, and asbestos-related diseases.

We believe passionately that workers should be kept safe from harm at work. If your employer hasn't protected you from exposure to hazardous substances at work, then we'll fight for the compensation you deserve.

Claiming compensation from a large company can be daunting, so we aim to make things as simple as possible, handling every aspect of your claim and letting you know exactly what we need from you, offering expert advice in plain English. We act on behalf of a number of trade unions, but we can still help you make a claim if you're not a member of one.

Helping you gain access to rehabilitation treatments that support you in dealing with your illness is also an essential part of our service, and our dedication to making sure our clients get the medical support they need has seen us win the Claimant Solicitor of the Year award at the Post Magazine's Rehabilitation First Awards seven times.

If you have any questions about our services, the claims process, or whether you can claim, contact us online or call us on 0800 056 4110. We'll be happy to help with a free, no-obligation consultation, where we’ll discuss your case and offer our expert advice on what your options are.

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Awards & Recognition

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK


"The lawyers are heavyweight individuals in a big firm, but they never compromise on client care. They handle cases with striking compassion and insight."
We're delighted to have been named Claimant Solicitor of the Year in the 2016 Post Magazine Rehabilitation First Awards, an award we've won on seven occasions.
"'One of the best’ and ‘go-to firm’ Irwin Mitchell covers the full range of work, and specialises in complex, unique cases."

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Making a difference – specialist care and support services.

Rehabilitation means different things to different people. For some it’s being able to return to work, while for others it’s being able to become more independent around the house. Our personal injury solicitors are here for you whatever your situation is, and you can be reassured that we’ll help you access the care and support you need to make the best recovery possible.

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