Industrial Diseases Claims

Are you suffering from an industrial disease?

All employers have a duty to protect their staff from hazardous substances and situations while they are at work. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for people to develop an illness or disease after coming into contact with a harmful substance in the workplace, or having to carry out their job in a damaging environment.

If you are suffering from a disease or medical condition caused or aggravated by your job, our skilled and experienced staff are here to provide you with tailored, trustworthy advice and guidance.

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Do you need help with the following?

  • Asbestos-related disease – caused by exposure to asbestos fibres, the number of deaths from this condition shows no real signs of diminishing, and cases can include members of employee’s families exposed to the danger
  • Mesothelioma – often considered the most devastating of the asbestos-related diseases as there is no cure
  • Dermatitis – the term used to describe many different skin conditions, usually caused by exposure to chemicals or irritants
  • Work Related Upper Limb Disorder (WRULD) – a debilitating soft tissue (muscles, tendon, nerves) condition caused by continued repetition of the same movements within a person’s work role.

Asbestos-related diseases

Asbestos-related disease is caused by breathing in asbestos fibres, and often results in a scarring condition of the lung. The number of deaths from this condition shows no real signs of diminishing. The prevalence of the disease is a legacy from workers widespread exposure to asbestos in the 50s, 60s and 70s, when there was extensive use of the material in areas such as insulation and fire protection.

Millions of people were exposed to asbestos at work from the 1930s to the 1970s, particularly in working environments such as:

  • shipyards
  • construction sites
  • boiler and engine rooms
  • hospitals
  • power stations
  • boiler makers
  • glass factories.

Asbestos-related diseases are not limited to workers but can also affect members of their families, who may have developed an asbestos-related disease or cancer as a result of being exposed to asbestos fibres on work clothes.

The time between exposure to asbestos and the occurrence of lung cancer is often 20 to 30 years or more, but varies in every individual case. If the employer has gone out of business or is no longer operating, a claim for compensation can still be made against the insurance company which provided insurance at the time of the exposure.

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is often considered the most devastating of the asbestos-related diseases as there is no cure, and few victims survive more than 18 months after diagnosis.

Mesothelioma compensation is claimed from the insurers of the company who caused the exposure to asbestos. Often these companies ceased to exist a long time ago but compensation would come from the insurers. Compensation awards to those suffering from mesothelioma reflect a number of different issues, including:

  • the illness itself
  • loss of earnings
  • any items you need to purchase as a result of the disease, from aids around the home to different foods to mobility aids
  • an amount to reflect the care provided by friends or family
  • care fees paid to professionals
  • any losses to other family members
  • travelling expenses to hospital or medical appointments.

If you have no idea where you were exposed to asbestos, you may still claim compensation from the Government. If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma after July 25 2012 and are unable to trace the company where you were exposed to asbestos or the company’s insurer, you will be eligible to receive 80% of the value of the average civil compensation claim from a central fund.

Skin Conditions (work-related dermatitis)

Dermatitis is a term used to describe many different skin conditions. It is more commonly known as eczema, and the two most common types of the condition are irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis.

A worker who comes into contact with dust, chemicals or enzymes at work without the proper protective clothing may go on to develop dermatitis on exposed areas such as the face and hands. Common causes of dermatitis include bleaches, caustic agents, cleaning products, coolants, detergents, oils, dyes, plants and fungi, as well as frequent contact with water.

Some of the professions thought to be most at risk of contracting work-related dermatitis include kitchen workers, hospital staff, manufacturing or factory workers, hairdressers, cleaners, printers and engineers.

Work Related Upper Limb Disorder (WRULD)

Work Related Upper Limb Disorder (WRULD) is the term given to the overuse of soft tissues (such as muscles, tendons and nerves) within the body over a significant period of time. It occurs through continued repetition of the same movements, and can seriously affect a person’s day-to-day life and their ability to work.

WRULD covers a wide range of conditions including frozen shoulder, tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome, which are often caused or worsened by work. WRULD conditions are widespread across a range of industries and jobs, but are a particular issue for employees who have had to endure:

  • repetitive work
  • uncomfortable working postures
  • sustained or excessive force
  • poor working environments or organisation
  • conducting tasks for long periods of time, without suitable rest or breaks.

The condition is most commonly found in factory workers involved in manufacturing and production lines who perform repetitive tasks in a difficult posture or with force; symptoms include aches and pains in their arms, wrists, shoulders fingers and/or thumbs. RSI can also affect office workers who carry out data inputting, typing, secretarial duties and other similar tasks.

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