Illness Caused by Industrial Disease
Workplaces can be hazardous. Whilst workplace safety has improved significantly over the years, there are still health conditions which can arise from repeated exposure to harmful occupational conditions.
Employers are bound by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 to provide a safe working environment for staff which does not affect their long-term health. Unfortunately, many industrial diseases could be prevented with the right protection and procedures in place.
Types of Industrial Disease
An industrial disease is defined as one which has derived from workplace conditions such as the repetition of certain acts or long-term inhalation of harmful substances.
There are many types of industrial disease. Examples of common ones are:
- Hearing loss
- Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome
- Repetitive Strain Injury
- Lung Cancer
Those more at risk, therefore, are individuals who:
- Come into contact or work in the same vicinity as dangerous substances and chemicals
- Those who work in loud environments
- Those who work with powerful vibrating machinery such as power tools
Main Causes of Developing Industrial Diseases
Industrial diseases are all caused by long-term or repeated exposure to conditions or processes which become detrimental to health.
Causes of industrial disease can include:
- Lack of appropriate respiratory equipment
- Lack of suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Long-term exposure to loud noise
- Long-term use of hand-held power tools
- Lack of appropriate training
It is an employee’s responsibility to take reasonable care of themselves and others affected by their actions. All training given should be adhered to and health and safety procedures followed. This includes wearing any mandatory PPE that is required for a task.
It is an employer’s legal duty to uphold health and safety regulations in the workplace and protect employees from harm within practical reason. This means providing a working environment that does not expose employees to such risks which could cause an industrial disease without the necessary protection.
Whilst employers are bound by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, there are many other specific regulations they are also bound by. Examples are:
- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
- Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005
- Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
- Employees undertaking tasks which put them at a higher exposure to risks should be provided with PPE to lower the risk of harm
- This could include equipment such as ear defenders, face masks and gloves
- This also includes appropriate Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) where required
- PPE should be mandatory where required
1. Conduct risk assessments
- Regular risk assessments should be carried out to identify any risks to employee health and safety
- Staff should be made aware where there is a risk identified and the risk eliminated or reduced immediately if possible
- Any other risks should have a detailed prioritised action plan in place
2. Provide a safe working environment
- This includes assessing whether something that provides an increased risk of harm to employees is really necessary. For example, replacing loud tools with quieter ones
- Controls should be introduced where necessary to reduce the risk from harm. Examples would be enclosures around noisy areas or using a chemical in its safest form
- Designing the workflow to limit employee exposure to the risk, providing breaks from the exposure if appropriate
- Warning and hazard signs should be present where necessary
2. Provide appropriate training
- Employees should be trained how to recognise the risks around them and how to protect themselves from harm including how to correctly wear PPE and RPE
- Training should be given on the handling and storage of any dangerous equipment, materials and substances
- Emergency training should be given on how to deal with incidents such as chemical accidents
- Employers should also be aware of the symptoms of industrial diseases to recognise and take action if an individual complains of such symptoms occurring
Can I Make a Claim?
If you are suffering from an industrial disease diagnosed as work related in the last 3 years, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.
Claiming for compensation does not just take into account any pain you have endured from having the industrial disease but also any past and future loss of earnings, treatments, and rehabilitation you may have suffered.
How Can Injury Lawyers UK Help?
We are a team of qualified lawyers who have over 20 years of experience dealing with claims against employers. We put people at the heart of what we do and will aim to get you 100% of the amount of compensation you are entitled to and operate a no win, no fee policy. We believe in getting justice for those who have suffered through no fault of their own.
We speak in jargon-free plain English so that you are never left feeling overwhelmed with legal terms or confused about the process. Your understanding is paramount to us and you will never be left feeling in the dark. Injury Lawyers UK will take the hassle out of the legal process for you whilst you concentrate on your health.
Initially, one of our legal advisers will talk through your case with you and make an assessment as to whether you could have a successful case or not. For some no-obligations advice regarding your case, just contact us via one of the options below.
TALK TO INJURY LAWYERS UK TODAY
If you want to know if you’re in a position to make a claim for an injury contact Injury Lawyers UK on 0800 285 1411 today or fill out an online enquiry form. We’ll be happy to provide you with the advice you need to pursue any action, and work with you to secure the compensation you deserve.