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Leeds rail depot cancer diagnoses.

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Old 6th February 2020, 17:02
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pre65 pre65 is offline  
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Leeds rail depot cancer diagnoses.

A union has raised concerns over toxic diesel fumes being emitted by trains at a Leeds rail depot after eight workers there were diagnosed with cancer.

Unite said two had "sadly died from the disease" while four other employees were planning to take legal action.

It has called for better ventilation systems after a video showed "toxic fog spewing" from a train.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-englan...eporting-story


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Old 8th February 2020, 11:35
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Beeyar Wunby Beeyar Wunby is offline  
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Thanks for that Philip.

Of course, this is not a new problem.

Under BR there were mess rooms sited adjacent to engine stabling lines. The locos sat there in the off-peak periods, filling the air with diesel filth whilst staff ate and drank nearby.

Attitudes were different then, and because the senior men of the time were conditioned to the very hard conditions of steam-working, any staff suggesting that breathing in clag was wrong were seen as "softies needing to grow a pair", or similar. And not forgetting that the staff were also poisoning themselves because the mess room was always full of choking cigarette smoke.

There were other problems too, loco crews have always been subjected to extreme levels of noise and vibration. I have colleagues who were Secondmen on Class 37s and 47s, where it was required to be in the engine room whilst the loco was barreling along on express workings (attending the steam heat boiler, etc). A good friend of mine is now profoundly deaf, and several other have no feeling in toes or fingers. These people aren't looking for compensation, which would be almost impossible to prove anyway, but they do feel that their previous employers have let them down.

But this is not a historical problem, it's still happening: Class 66s are awful for vibration and noise, and Class 70s give a very rough ride.

The idea that the workplace can damage its employees has taken a long time to be recognised, but at least we have the HSE rulings (and I suspect there may be moans from certain members here over this) that make it both the employers AND the employees responsibility to identify hazards and engage in discussions about how to bring about a remedy, or at least reduce the exposure.

We can't fix the damage that has been done to previous generations of staff, but we can improve the conditions and reduce the risk for future workers.

Cheers, BW.
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Last edited by Beeyar Wunby; 8th February 2020 at 12:07.
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