The Coventry Homefire plant in Keresley produced smokeless fuel in the form of briquettes until its closure in 2000. The production process was not as ‘smokeless’ as the resulting fuel however, with workers at the plant being exposed to large quantities of dust and smoke every day. Employers have a duty to provide a safe workplace. If better ventilation and protective equipment had been provided, this may have prevented such great exposure to these emissions.

The process at the Homefire plant was similar to the process at the Phurnacite plant in Abercwmboi, South Wales. Specialist solicitors at Hugh James represented hundreds of ex Phurnacite workers and their families in the landmark litigation in 2012, in which the Judge found that exposure to the emissions at Phurnacite can cause respiratory disease and certain types of cancer.

Following the outcome of this case, former Homefire plant workers and families of deceased workers may now be able to claim compensation for COPD, COAD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, lung cancer and skin cancer.