Industrial Asthma Claims
Whilst you are at work, your employer must take steps to protect your health. If you weren’t supplied with proper protective clothing or ventilation whilst carrying out your daily tasks and you have been exposed to hazardous airborne substances as a result; you may have an industrial asthma claim.
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At Tilly Bailey & Irvine, we can assist you with making a compensation claim if you are suffering from industrial asthma. Our industrial injury team is led by John Hall. As well as having years of experience running industrial asthma and lung disease claims, John is a panel member of Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA) and a Senior Litigator with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
We have specialist knowledge in industrial asthma compensation and have successfully pursued companies and their insurers for damages on behalf of clients, achieving the highest possible compensation pay-outs. A winning claim could help towards the costs of your medical treatment or recover income lost as a result of your condition.
Having acted for a number of industrial asthma clients, we understand what a difference successfully achieving compensation can make to their health and future. Therefore, John and his team are dedicated to providing quality service, knowledgeable advice and robust representation.
What is industrial asthma?
If you have never had asthma before and you suddenly start experiencing symptoms after doing a certain type of work, you could have occupational asthma.
There are two types of industrial asthma:
- Allergic occupational asthma – this is the most common type of industrial asthma, it is triggered by allergens such as flour dust (Baker’s Asthma), fumes, and wood dust. If you suffer from allergic occupational asthma and the reason you developed an allergy to something at work is because you were exposed to large amounts of the allergen for a long time which made you become sensitive to it.
- Irritant induced occupational asthma – is a non-allergenic form of asthma caused when you breathe in a particular type of fume at work that irritates your airways, causing asthma symptoms.
Known causes of industrial asthma include:
- Irritant chemicals such as adhesives, shellac and lacquer, plastics, epoxy resins, carpeting, foam and rubber, insulation, dyes (textile workers), and enzymes in detergents
- Proteins in animal hair and/or dander
- Grains, green coffee beans, and papain (an extract of papaya that may trigger a latex allergy)
- Cotton, flax, and hemp dust, commonly found in the textile industry
- Metals such as platinum, chromium, nickel sulphate, and soldering fumes
Industrial asthma symptoms
Symptoms of industrial asthma include:
- Tightening of the chest
- Difficulty breathing
Eye irritation, nasal congestion, and/or runny nose may also be present.
If you suspect you may have developed occupational asthma, you need to see a doctor immediately. This is not only for your health, but we will need to see evidence of your medical records to pursue a compensation claim.
If you are diagnosed with industrial asthma, you must avoid the triggers that are present in your workplace.
Who is responsible for my occupational asthma or industrial lung disease?
You employer owes you a duty of care to ensure you are kept safe from illness and disease at work.
If your job involves having to work with known irritant chemicals or dust, your employer needs to undertake an adequate risk assessment and minimise the chance of their employees developing industrial asthma.
For example, the second most common cause of occupational asthma according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is flour dust and enzymes containing additives such as amylase. Flour dust can cause a condition commonly referred to as Baker’s Asthma.
To prevent this type of asthma developing, those working in bakeries are encouraged to avoid raising dust clouds, clean up using wet cleaning materials and use protective respiratory equipment.
Your employer has a duty to provide full training and protective gear if you work in an environment where industrial asthma may be triggered.
Claiming compensation for industrial asthma
If you have been diagnosed with occupational asthma, you may be able to claim compensation. A successful claim requires you to prove your illness was caused by negligent acts or omissions by your employer. We are experts at collating the necessary evidence to prove employer negligence. We achieve this by examining medical records, garnering expert opinion and investigating your employer’s health and safety policies and procedures.
Around 15% of asthma cases in the UK are classed as industrial asthma related. It’s a condition that can take months or even years to develop and for this reason, if you are making a claim, you need to use a specialist solicitor with experience in pursuing cases against companies that may long since have ceased trading, changed names, been taken over or if you no longer work there. Whatever the situation, you are assured of the highest level of expert representation when you instruct us.
We offer no win, no fee arrangements for our clients. This means that if you do not receive compensation, you will not have to pay any legal fees.
We know it can be difficult to bring a claim against an employer, especially if it’s a relatively large organisation. With the backing of our personal injury team, you will feel confident in bringing a claim for compensation to help you fund your rehabilitation and help financially support your family if you have to find a new occupation.
Employers must have insurance to cover them in the case of compensation claims. You will not be taking money from them in person, and if you have developed occupational asthma because of their negligence, they will fully expect a compensation claim to be brought. It is against the law for you to suffer harassment because you choose to bring a claim. Because we are a full-service law firm, our personal injury solicitors can collaborate with our employment team to advise and support you if you experience any problems at work after launching a claim.
To find out more about how we can advise you on an industrial asthma compensation claim, please call us on 0333 444 4422 to talk to one of our solicitors.