Anyone working in an industrial or commercial setting may be at risk from an industrial disease. Over the years, health and safety procedures have been implemented to radically reduce the risk of developing some of the more serious conditions. Despite this, many people are suffering from legacy conditions that were acquired while working in unsafe environments many years, often decades, earlier.
Others are still developing industrial related diseases despite more stringent regulations. In both cases, the impact industrial diseases can have on an individual’s life can be dramatic. When they do develop it may be possible to claim compensation.
What is an industrial disease?
Industrial diseases are those diseases that can be contracted while carrying out your employment. They will usually arise as a result of inadequate health and safety procedures or due to exposure to dangerous substances. Often workers who suffer from existing conditions find that their symptoms are made worse by the conditions within which they’re expected to work.
Some of the UK’s most common industrial diseases are carpal tunnel syndrome and other vibration related injuries, lung and respiratory diseases, industrial dermatitis and other skin diseases as well as occupational cancers. There is a legacy of asbestos related illnesses acquired by workers in a range of industries where the substance was routinely used.
Is COPD an industrial disease?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties. By far the most common cause of COPD is smoking, but they can be caused by unsafe working environments. Exposure to a wide variety of dust and fumes such as silica dust, cadmium dust and welding fumes has been linked to workplace COPD. Should your COPD have a work-related cause then you may be able to claim compensation.
What types of industrial disease can you claim for?
The list of diseases and injuries that people sustain in the workplace is vast. However, some of the most common conditions that lead to successful claims include:
- Lung conditions such as pneumoconiosis, mesothelioma and asbestosis. These frequently arise as a result of having been exposed to fibres or asbestos dust.
- Hearing loss and industrial deafness as a result of being exposed to a noisy environment.
- Vibration white finger/ hand arm vibration (HAVS) is a painful condition that can affect people who have to work with powerful vibrating equipment such as road drills.
- Repetitive strain injury (RSI), a painful inflammation of the tendons in the hand and arms.
- Dermatitis, an uncomfortable inflamed skin condition as a result of being exposed to dangerous chemicals.
- Lung disease and asthma, which can have a variety of causes including exposure to dust and fumes.
- Occupational cancers triggered by an exposure to working carcinogens.
- Osteoarthritis of the knee or hip, both of which can be developed as a result of certain kinds of manual labour.
This list is by no means exhaustive and a specialist industrial disease lawyer will be able to advise about your condition. Whether these conditions occur when someone is employed or undertaking training they can still be eligible for compensation.
Mark Reynolds Solicitors offer a comprehensive industrial disease service. We can assess the strength of your claim and then pursue an effective compensation claim if appropriate. Call 0800 002 9577 or contact us online to find out more.