Workers at the now closed smokeless fuel plant which closed in 1991who were made ill by their place of work, the High Court has ruled.
The men said making the fuel at the at Abercwmboi, Rhondda Cynon Taf, left them with lung cancer and respiratory disease.
Four of 183 ex-workers with claims won compensation between £120,000 and £4,500 after claiming British Coal failed to provide necessary protection.
Lawyers say the judgement could affect hundreds of workers throughout the UK.
The workers had put forward claims for lung, skin and bladder cancers and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
The are around Abwecwmboi used to be one of the most polluted parts of Wales
Phurnacite Plant Abercwmboi 1983
Travelling up to Aberdare in the 70 and 80's was a shock seeing the blackened and dying vegetation on the side of the road and it didn't take a genius to see what was responsible.
The pictures tell it all really.
The worrying thing is that it may not only have been the workers who affected and the local population who lived under the plant must have some concerns.
I remember a local politician in the 80's saying "Only when the Phurnacite becomes unprofitable will the claims about the pollution be heard ".
Local MP Labour Anne Clwyd (despite her party being in power) said in 2003
“the residents of Abercwmboi have lived next to 28 acres of highly contaminated land—some of the worst toxic waste left anywhere in the United Kingdom. It is high time we saw action rather this snail's-pace progress, if it can be described as progress at all.”
The area is the shameful of our Industrial past We accepted jobs in these heavy industries and put with the detrimental effects on our Health and environment and we were then abandoned by a succession of Tory and Labour governments and despite some clean ups we were left with the legacy of a damaged environment and ill health .
The victory of the claimants is welcome but the compensation looks mediocre compared with some claims awarded to people suffering from harassment at work (and I'm not knocking these awards.)
It is an example of how Wales was exploited for its mineral wealth from the Slate Quarries , Coal , Steel etc. and we must make sure that we have full control of all ways our Nation run including the monitoring of Industry to ensure they are not harming Workers the local population and the environment.
I admit there's no guarantee that the the Government of an Independent Wales will ensure this but at least we the electorate will be responsible if we don't remove them.