Compensation Claims Specialists
Our Industrial Disease Claims Solicitors have significant experience helping those who have suffered an Industrial Disease or experienced work related or Industrial Illness.
FOR FREE SPECIALIST ADVICE – CALL US NOW ON FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or SALISBURY (01722) 422300
What Is An Industrial or Workplace Disease?
A workplace disease (also known as an occupational or an industrial disease) is an illness or health problem brought on by the conditions at work. This covers a wide variety of different conditions, many of which can entitle you to make a successful work accident compensation claim.
Some of the most common types of occupational disease include:-
· Occupational stress.
· Vibration white finger
· Respiratory diseases, including occupational asthma – see below
· Asbestos related injuries (such as mesothelioma or asbestosis -see below)
· Deafness caused by exposure to excessive noise (click here to find out more about Noise Induced Hearing Loss Claims)
· Repetitive strain syndrome
Common Causes of Industrial Disease Claims
You may have:
- Been exposed to asbestos leading to mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis or pleural thickening.
- Been exposed to dangerous chemicals in breach of the COSH regulations.
- Needed to work with tools or machinery, or do repetitive work nature causing a Work-Related Upper Limb Disorder (WRULD) – including vibration white finger, hand-arm vibration syndrome, tenosynovitis, De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, stenosing tenosynovitis (trigger finger/thumb), carpal tunnel syndrome or epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow).
- Been required to adopt unsafe working practices like working without adequate risk assessments, training, protective clothing or working with faulty equipment.
Our team of specialist Industrial Disease Claims Solicitors can advise about employers acting negligently or in breach of health and safety regulations – exposing employees to harm. Our Solicitors understand that some conditions take years to develop.
Workplace Disease: A Breach of Duty
Many hundreds of people are affected from a workplace disease every year – regardless of the fact that employers have a legal obligation to look after the health and safety of their workforce. This is often referred to as a “duty of care”, and requires an employer to:-
· Incorporate the appropriate equipment, which is required to keep to safety standards
· Incorporate sufficient training and supervision
· Apply a safe working procedure
· Keep a safe working environment
Employers, for these reasons, have a clear responsibility to protect their staff from danger. As such, workers should never experience unsafe surroundings to the extent that their health is jeopardised as a consequence. Therefore, should an employer not stick to health and safety legislation, and an employee contracts a disease as a direct result, there has been a breach of duty.
In this kind of situation, it may well be possible for an employee to make a personal injury claim for compensation.
The effects of industrial disease
A workplace disease also known as an occupational or an industrial disease, can have a catastrophic effect on a person’s life, frequently contributing to prolonged health complications.
This can be severely distressing, not only physically but economically and psychologically. That is why if you have suffered, or continue to suffer from a workplace illness, you need to know whether you are likely to be entitled to industrial disease compensation.
Putting up with the symptoms of a workplace disease can have a very negative affect on your life – not only physically but also money wise and on an emotional level. This is especially true if it turns out you will suffer from long-term symptoms.
Your health issues may stop you from working again entirely.
That’s why you could be entitled to compensation, not only for the pain you have experienced so far, but the damage to your financial position.
If you have sustained a workplace disease, on of our specialist industrial disease solicitors could help you win your compensation claim.
Work-Related Cancer Compensation Claims
One of the most notorious causes for some kinds of cancers, such as cancers of the lungs, skin, bladder and nasal passages, is the exposure to carcinogenic chemicals at work. Here are the most common types of work related cancer
- Bladder cancer
It can take 25 years from exposure to chemicals for bladder cancer to develop, and can be linked to working with chemicals, such as those employed in dye factories, rubber, gas works, plastics and other chemical industries.
- Lung cancer
Lung cancers, although primarily linked with smoking or asbestos exposure, can also be associated to exposure to particular carcinogenic chemicals, dust or radiation suffered at work.
- Nasal cancer
Regular exposure to wood dust (particularly hardwood dust), glues, formaldehyde, solvents used in furniture and shoe production, nickel and chromium dust have all been recognised as causes of certain cases of nasal cancer. Additionally, there are some indications that there is a connection between exposure to cloth fibres (fabrics) in the workplace and nasal cancer in women.
- Skin cancer
Ionising and non-ionising radiation, and particular chemicals in the workplace, are thought to be triggers for skin cancers.
If you believe that the cancer you are suffering from might have been attributed to exposure to hazardous environments or chemicals throughout your working career, please get in touch with us to see if we could help you attain the compensation you are entitled to.
Industrial Disease Claims funding
Our solicitors have various funding schemes for Industrial Disease Compensation Claims.
- We are approved by most legal expenses insurers who will pay your legal bill
- We offer no win no fee arrangements
- You keep your all of your compensation – our fees are paid by the defendants when you win your claim
- We offer FREE first interviews to discover if you have an industrial disease claim, and if so what is the likely level of any compensation – without having to pay a solicitor.
Click here to read more about no win no fee agreements and how they can help you claim compensation.
Industrial Disease Claims – How Much Compensation Could I Win?
If you make a successful claim for compensation, the amount of compensation will depend on your personal circumstances – including the seriousness of your illness and any pain you have suffered
You could also be eligible for compensation for the following;
- loss of income
- future loss of income
- loss of pension entitlement
- costs caused by your illness, for example, medical costs or travel costs.
Why Asbestos Lies Behind So Many Industrial Disease Claims
Asbestos is a killer. And according to the Health and Safety Executive, asbestos is the UK’s leading cause of work related deaths.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral product, previously used for flame proofing and insulation. Although useful, it’s also deadly. Recent statistics show that asbestosis and asbestos related cancers cause more than 5000 deaths each year, with 1% of all UK males over the age of 40 being affected. It’s therefore not surprising that asbestos related claims are on the rise.
Asbestos was invented as a building material in the 1950s and used extensively until the 1980s. The effects of its lethal fibres, in the form of a fine airborne dust, rampaged virtually unchecked through the ranks of workers in the mining, construction and manufacturing sectors devastating their respiratory systems and causing painful disability and premature death.
It’s no longer legal to extract or use asbestos and the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and 2012 effectively regulates its demolition/removal, transportation and disposal. And although asbestos hasn’t been used in construction for many years, it is directly responsible for an epidemic of industrial disease claims. The substance is composed of millions of tiny fibres, which lodge in the lungs if they’re inhaled. This leads to scarring of the lung tissue (asbestosis), cancer of the chest and lung linings (mesothelioma), lung cancer and pleural disease. Only a tiny amount needs to be inhaled in order to do damage. Asbestos related diseases have been reported among the families of workers who brought asbestos particles into the home on their clothes. Symptoms of this type of industrial disease can take up to 40 years to emerge, which is why so many claims are related to historical incidents.
Given the scale of damage that asbestos can cause, it’s shocking to realise that it was used in so many public buildings, including schools and hospitals. Ironically, banning its use has also contributed to the number of claims, since many are made by workers who contracted a disease whilst removing asbestos from buildings.
Generally speaking, the control and removal of asbestos is much more tightly governed now. In the UK, the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 (updated in 2006), impose significant responsibilities on workplaces to identify and manage asbestos related risks. In particular, this legislation puts employers under a legal duty to take all reasonably practicable measures to ensure the health and safety of their employees. With regard to asbestos, employers are legally obliged to provide training on asbestos awareness and working with material. Asbestos exposure is also reportable under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995.
It is to be hoped that these regulations and controls will greatly reduce cases of this tragic industrial disease over time. But asbestos has not gone away and the legacy of an era that enthusiastically embraced the highly desirable properties of asbestos containing materials (even after the adverse health effects of asbestos dust exposure were recognised), lurk in many buildings constructed prior the turn of the 21st century.
Theoretically there is no safe minimum exposure level and one asbestos fibre might be all that it takes to trigger the process that will lead to the onset of disease. In fact, medical research points to much higher levels of exposure over a prolonged period being required to bring about the onset of such crippling conditions as asbestosis, pleural thickening and mesothelioma – but the same research reveals that different people react to different levels of exposure in different ways. Thus, the burden of managing this hazard, on every business that might encounter legacy asbestos in carrying out their work, will remain high until the material has been eradicated from our environment.
Asthma contracted at work – how common is it?
Unfortunately occupational asthma is a relatively common respiratory disorder in the UK, affecting tens of thousands of workers annually who contract it as a result of short or longer term exposure to hazardous conditions in their places of work. Occupational asthma compensation claims are also common, as a result
Approximately two million workers in the UK work in environments where their level of exposure to dusts, fumes, vapours or gas might cause them to experience the condition.
To find out whether or not a persons’ asthma was because that work that person will need to keep a record of when the symptoms show If the symptoms disappear when the person is away from their working environment but return again when or shortly after they return to work the asthma will be classified as occupational.
2 main types of occupational asthma;
There are two main types of occupational asthma;
- hypersensitivity-induced occupation asthma (the type experienced by 90% of those affected) and
- irritant-induced asthma, also known as Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS).
The symptoms include a feeling tightness of the chest, experiencing shortness of breath, wheezing and a general sense of respiratory discomfort and are caused by an inflammation of the air passages which cause them to narrow and produce an excess of mucus.
Common causes of occupational asthma
Higher than average incidences of workers contracting occupation asthma occur in bakery work, spray painting, metalwork, agricultural and forestry, textiles, warehouse working, catering, dentistry, laboratory work and painting and decorating.
Particularly to blame for causing occupational asthma are a group of chemicals called isocyanates which are found in spray paints, the gases and fumes prevalent in foundries and also in foam moulding processes. If the exposure is particularly high, onset of the symptoms can occur within a year, however low level exposure might result in the onset being considerably delayed. The level of exposure usually also determines whether or not the condition will prove to be reversible, which it is in the majority of cases, or whether permanent damage to the lungs will occur.
I’m showing symptoms occupational asthma – what should I do?
Any worker experiencing the symptoms described above would be strongly advised to see their doctor and to provide the doctor with a comprehensive description of their working environment and materials they work with.
If the doctor decides that the asthma is likely to have been caused in the workplace, the patient should pass this information on to his employer who must remove him or her from the source of the respiratory sensitiser causing the symptoms.
What responsibilities do employers have to their employees?
Employers have, as part of their duty of care to their employees’ a specific requirement to protect their workforce from exposure to substances that might cause occupational asthma or indeed any other injury.
If an employer has been negligent is discharging that duty of care and as a result of that negligence an employee, through not fault of their own, contracts occupational asthma, a claim for compensation is likely to succeed. And for that you are going to need a specialist workplace injury solicitor.
Don’t Delay – Get Medical Treatment and Specialist Legal Advice as soon as possible
If you think you are experiencing symptoms of a workplace disease, it is really important to seek out medical advice as soon as possible. Rapid early treatment is often a really important factor in managing these kind of conditions.
It’s also important to take expert legal advice ASAP after your accident or as soon as you become aware of your Industrial Disease– limitation periods apply and investigating Industrial Disease Claims is easier with prompt legal advice.
At your initial FREE interview with us, our accident claim lawyers can tell you whether your compensation claim is worth pursuing. Our solicitors strongly recommend you keep notes about the circumstances of your illness or disease and maintain a diary of events.
Click here to read more about making a Personal Injury Claim
Contact our Industrial Disease Claims Solicitors as soon as possible
Home/Hospital visits are available for clients with serious injuries. Our Industrial Disease Solicitors can see you in our Salisbury, Andover, Fordingbridge or Amesbury offices and we have interviewing facilities in West Dorset. Our specialist industrial disease solicitors also regularly represent clients locally in Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset, the Isle of Wight and Berkshire and throughout England and Wales.
For legal advice from expert UK Industrial Disease Claim Solicitors, contact our team today.