Former Paper Mill Worker Wins Settlement After Cancer Battle

A former mill worker who has twice battled a rare form of cancer he contracted as a result of exposure to wood dust at work has been awarded a compensation settlement and legal protection should the illness return.

The 63-year-old man was employed in various roles at the paper and wood mill between 1973 and 2002. During this time he was continually exposed to large quantities of dust, but employees were not provided with protective masks to prevent its inhalation and the extraction systems were only partially effective.

In August 2010, he was diagnosed with nasal cancer and had to cease working as a self-employed painter and decorator. He underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy, during which time he was unable to eat and lost a lot of weight. His wife had to look after him throughout his treatment and the recovery period.

In April 2011, doctors told him that the cancer was in remission. However, by early 2014 it had returned and he had to undergo further courses of radiotherapy and chemotherapy as well as the removal of lymph glands in his neck.

The treatment was successful and the man was able to pursue a claim for compensation against his former employer. As well as appropriate damages for the health problems he has suffered to date, the settlement allows him to pursue a further claim should the cancer return.

The relationship between wood dust and nasal cancer is well established. However, excessive exposure to dust of any kind can have an adverse effect on someone’s health.

The Health and Safety Executive provides useful information on working in the presence of wood dust.

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