<<< BACK to previous page

Occupations

 

A Recognised Collection of National Importance

Home > Family Histories > Occupations & Trades > Compressorman

Compressorman

or Pressure Man

Press operators

Operating a wax filtration press (LVSAV 1998.043.007)

 

A compressorman worked in the wax extraction department at the oil refinery. Raw wax was loaded by hand into cloth filter bags which were then compressed between steel plates to remove residual oils.

Many paraffin process workers suffered from skin disorders as a result of working in clothes saturated with oils and waxes. Upper arms and ankles inevitably became heavily soiled, resulting in skin infections, growths and cancers. Scrotal and facial cancers were also reported, often with fatal consequences.

Wages & Working Hours

In 1958, an Agreement Between the Scottish Shale Oil Companies and the National Union of Shale Miners & Oil Workers records that compressormen earned between 29s 11d and 31s 0d per shift. Day workers worked an average of 44 hours per week (5 days one week and 5.5 days the next week). Three shift or double shift workers worked a 6 day week of 48 hours.

 

 

creative commons

We are happy to licence use of many images, extracts, and other resources of this website under a Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial licence (Scotland). See full copyright statement. Such material should be attributed to Almond Valley Heritage Trust and, where practical, a hyperlink provided to www.scottishshale.co.uk.