Occupational Injury Disease Claims
The Occupational Disease Injury Department provides advice for compensation claims arising from industrial diseases.
Occupations where Disease Injury may occur
- Ship Builders
- Rail Workers
- Factory Workers
Many Years can lapse between exposure and diagnosis. In the event that the former employer are no longer in existence providing we can find out details of the insurers during the periods of employment we may still be able to recover compensation on your behalf.
Reports are obtained to include Engineering and Medical evidence from Specialists in the specific disease.
Claims can also be advanced on behalf of relatives or dependents of persons who have died as a result of exposure to asbestos within work undertaken.
There are strict time limits which apply for the recovery of compensation in these types of cases so it is important to get legal advice as soon as possible.
To start your claim or obtain advice and information please contact the Occupational Disease Injury Team on 0114 21 300 21.
Claims can be advanced on a NO WIN NO FEE BASIS
The following types of Occupational Diseases can be claimed for:
- Asbestos Related Conditions (Asbestosis, Pleural Thickening, Lung Cancer, Mesothelioma)
- Other respiratory diseases COPD and asthma due to exposure to chemicals and dust
- Cancer conditions of the bladder or skin
- Vibration White Finger
- Work Related Upper Limb Disorders to include RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury, Carpel tunnel Syndrome)
- Noise Induced Hearing Loss due to excessive exposure to noise
Asbestos Related Conditions
Years can lapse between exposure and diagnosis. Asbestos damages the health as the fibres are inhaled or swallowed into the lungs. The disease can develop thirty, forty or more years after exposure.
The degree of exposure is considered, the type of work undertaken, and evidence obtained to confirm did the exposure create a foreseeable risk of injury and was the employer in breach of a statutory duty owed to the employee.
Symptoms of an asbestos disease include coughing, breathlessness,
Asbestos related diseases are serious and can reduce life expectancy If you have developed an asbestos related disease then we recommend that you take action.
There are several types of asbestos related conditions:
- Pleural Thickening,
- Pleural Fibrosis
- Lung Cancer
Asbestosis is a type of pulmonary fibrosis caused by asbestos fibres which have become lodged in the lungs after being inhaled from the air. The fibrosis causes the lungs to shrink, resulting in breathlessness. Asbestosis develops in some people who have breathed in a substantial amount of asbestos dust in the course of their work. It usually shows itself a long time after inhalation of the dust, often twenty or thirty years after the start of the exposure.
The pleura is a two-layered membrane which surrounds the lungs and lines the inside of the rib cage. Some asbestos fibres inhaled into lungs work their way out to the pleura and may cause fibrosis or scarring to develop there. This causes the pleura to thicken and this may show up on a chest X-ray. Pleural thickening extends over a large area and may restrict expansion of the lungs, leading to breathlessness.
Workers who were exposed to asbestos have an increased risk of lung cancer where there has been significant exposure. There is also evidence that where those exposed to asbestos have also had exposure to cigarette smoking then the combined risk is not merely additive but multiplicative.
There is no way of distinguishing, either clinically or pathologically between lung cancer caused by asbestos and lung cancer caused by smoking and specialist legal advice will be necessary in order to obtain the correct medical evidence in order to prove your claim and that the lung cancer was caused by asbestos.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer affecting the pleura surrounding the lungs, abdomen, heart and other organs. In the majority of cases Mesothelioma can be attributed directly to asbestos exposure and is usually a direct result of exposure in Occupational settings.
However, mesothelioma has been reported in people without any known occupational exposure to asbestos eg. partners and children who have come into contact with a family member who had asbestos on their clothing.
Mesothelioma can be difficult to diagnose as normal tests used for lung disease often prove negative for Mesothelioma. It is vital therefore that yourself and your family receive advice and guidance from experienced specialists in this field.
Asthma is a condition that affects the lungs and airways.
Asthma is usually caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors but if it is specifically caused and aggravated by conditions in the workplace, it is known as Occupational asthma. Known triggers for asthma include exposure and inhalation to Coal dust, oils, resins, chemicals, fumes, flour.
In order to make a successful claim, you need to prove that your asthma was caused by exposure to substances at work, and that your employer was negligent or in breach of health and safety regulations. Employers have a duty to protect their workers from the risks of hazardous substances and to monitor the health of their employees. We can help you to establish whether or not your employer is liable and guide you through the process of making a claim.
Bladder cancer or an increased risk of contracting or developing the disease is through smoking and exposure to certain chemicals, such as those used in manufacturing to include dyes, plastics, petroleum and rubber as well as those present in the tyre making, printing chemical manufacturing and processing industries.
Bladder Cancer is caused by inhalation of chemicals travelling into the bloodstream through inhalation, ingestion or swallowing or skin splashes or bodily contact. The carcinogenic chemical then causes an adverse change at the genetic level to cause a tumour to develop.
If you are diagnosed with bladder cancer, caused by exposure to chemicals within an industry then contact us for advice with regard to processing a claim.
Vibration White Finger
Vibration white Finger is a condition that results from prolonged use of vibrating machinery and vibratory tools:
- Pneumatic drills
Symptoms include numbness and tingling.
To advance a claim it will have to be proven that your employer was negligent in protecting you from the harmful effects of using vibrating tools. There are specific health and safety guidelines relating to the use of vibrating tools.
The employers may have failed to recognize that the excessive use of vibratory tools and machinery would create a risk in that there was a failure to take any steps to minimize the risk of exposure and ensure that appropriate working practices were implemented and followed.
If you have been exposed to Vibratory tools during the course of your employment then please contact us for advice with regard to making a claim.
If you suffer from these eczema or dermatitis, you may experience severe dryness and itchiness that can result in painful sores and skin infections.
There can be many causes of dermatitis, including:
- Severe dryness
- An irritating substance
- Contact with an allergen (either direct contact with the skin sometimes swallowed)
As a worker you may have contracted the condition.
Employers are under a duty to protect you from such exposure and risk and are under a duty to provide protective equipment such as gloves, overalls, masks to eliminate such risks.
If you have been in contact in your occupation with oils, chemicals, detergents and are suffering from dermatitis then contact for specialist advice with regard to processing a claim for compensation.
Work Related Upper Limb Disorder (RSI Carpel Tunnel Syndrome)
Employers who suffer from the condition RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) or WRULD (Work Related Upper Limb Disorder) fall into 2 categories.
> Those involved in production line work such as assembly work, packing, food processing. The work undertaken would involve repeated rapid movements
> Those workers who use keyboards
The symptoms are often due to continuous muscle contraction caused by being in a fixed position for long periods of time with arms/wrists supported in the wrong manner.
Types of work where repeated rapid movement is a regular feature can cause an RSI condition to develop.
It has to be proven that the employer knew that you were exposed to a risk of injury, and the injury was caused by the work which you as an employee were required to do.
If you believe that you are suffering from RSI or any other Work related Upper Limb Disorder then contact us to make a claim for compensation.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss Claims
If you’re suffering from industrial deafness or noise induced hearing loss, you may be experiencing symptoms such as tinnitus, muffled hearing, or trouble hearing high pitched noises.
Industrial deafness and noise induced hearing loss can affect any age group, so if you are suffering from any of these symptoms then you should gain expert medical advice as soon as you can.
If your hearing problems were caused by the negligence of your employer then you may be able to claim compensation. For example, if the hearing loss was caused by working with loud machinery over a prolonged period of time, and your employer failed to issue you with ear protection, (Ear defenders) or failed to give training or warnings on the dangers of working with noise, you may be eligible to claim for industrial deafness.
The noise level at which employers should be enforcing the use of ear defenders is 85db as regular exposure to noise above this level is hazardous to hearing.
Early signs of hearing loss include:
- Trouble following a conversation in a room where there is a lot of background noise
- Tinnitus – a ringing in the ears, which can be temporary or permanent
- You have to turn music, or the TV up to levels that others find too loud
- Background noise and you struggle to follow the conversation
- You often need to ask people to repeat themselves
Occupations within the following industries may cause Noise Induced Hearing Loss
- Ship Building and Repair
- Car Assembly Plants
- Noisy Factories
- Construction Industry
- Steel Making
- Road Workers.
Industrial deafness claims should be made within three years of first recognising the symptoms of industrial deafness (noise-induced hearing loss).
The amount of compensation that can be secured will vary and depend on the severity of the condition.
Simply get in touch to find out if we can help you make a claim.