Industrial Disease Claims
The likelihood of being exposed to disease is unlikely within most jobs, but industrial workers face a significantly higher risk of contracting many different types of disease.
Common illnesses include deafness, cataracts, tendonitis and various types of cancer. There are also lots of less common ailments such as vibration white finger.
These illnesses are called ‘industrial’ diseases because they mainly affect those in the manufacturing industry, who often work with chemicals and biological agents which have not been subject to the test of time to determine how dangerous they are.
In recent years they have been renamed ‘occupational diseases’ to make clear the connection between a person’s job and their contraction of a given disease.
One of the most common examples of this is asbestos, which was widely celebrated for its physical characteristics.
It was only later that the dangers associated with asbestos became apparent, and by this time many people had suffered from its effects.
It is the responsibility of your employer to inform you of the risks of being exposed to asbestos if there is any chance that you have been or will be. If they fail in this duty of care, there is a possibility to make an accident claim for compensation.
How Do I Make an Accident Claim?
An industrial injury accident claim for compensation differs slightly from a standard personal injury claim in that it can take several years for the symptoms of an ailment to appear.
As soon as you realise you have contracted an industrial disease, you should take the first steps towards making an accident claim for compensation.
It is often the case that even when symptoms do appear, they are mistaken for other, less serious illnesses.
Once you are certain your illness has been caused by an industrial injury, the procedure to follow is very similar to a standard claim for an accident in the workplace.
Common Occupational Diseases
Asbestos related illnesses – Contact with asbestos often doesn’t reveal symptoms until many years afterwards. The most commonly affected area is the lungs, caused by breathing in asbestos fibres.
Asbestos exposure can generate a variety of symptoms, including scarring of the lungs and thickening of the surrounding tissue. Studies have shown that asbestos exposure can lead to colon and throat cancer, as well as the more obvious lung cancer.
Hearing loss – Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) describes the onset of deafness as a direct result of a person’s working environment. It is the employer’s responsibility to assess the likelihood of exposure to a specific noise to result in hearing loss.
Again, this can take years to manifest itself, and if you think you may have been affected by working in a noisy environment, it is recommended that you enlist the help of a specialist accident claim solicitor.
Vibration injuries – The use of industrial power tools for prolonged periods of time can result in an injury known as Vibration White Finger or Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome.
This is where the fingertips or entire finger turns white and goes numb. It is the responsibility of the employer to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to avoid this type of injury.