Do I have a claim against my employer?
The Health and Safety at Work Act imposes a legal duty on employers to take reasonably practicable, steps to protect the health of their employees. The employer must also provide safety information, instruction and adequate supervision. This obligation applies not just to avoiding immediate injury but also any danger to your long term health.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations require the employer to conduct a risk assessment including any risk from hazards that may cause cancer. Your employer must also identify and introduce preventative and protective measures highlighted by the assessment.
The law is clear. The first aim should always be to completely remove the hazard, but if that is not possible then steps must be taken to reduce those risks to the lowest level possible. For example: substituting less hazardous substances or materials in the production process, or failing that, issuing suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) to staff affected.