Former workers for an MG Rover subsidiary – Powertrain Ltd – are to receive a joint settlement of almost 1 million pounds after an agreement was reached in what experts believe was the largest outbreak of occupational lung disease in the world.
The compensation is to be divided between 79 metalworkers working at the company’s Longbridge manufacturing plant who sustained the breathing disease alveolitis when fluids used to lubricate their machines were incorrectly stored.
Bacteria and other dangerous substances developed in the fluids, and when they were used on the metalworkers’ machines formed a harmful mist which was inhaled by the employees. The illnesses were first recorded in 2004 following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive and affected about 12 per cent of the workforce.
After a seven year legal wrangle, workers are now to receive their compensation, even though MG Rover went into administration in 2005.