Industrial disease arises in circumstances where individuals have been exposed to a potentially harmful substance usually over a period of many years. The nature of these types of claims means that a detailed investigation of the individual’s work history is required in order to assess likely prospects of success.
If you have been diagnosed with an industrial work-related disease, you may be able to bring a claim for compensation against the employer or employers who were negligent in failing to protect you against the risk of contracting the disease.
The types of industrial disease include:
- Industrial deafness
- Vibration White Finger
- Respiratory Disease
- Asbestosis and Asbestosis related diseases
When a substance or work procedure is initially used by an employer, harm will not necessarily be suspected. At this initial stage, there is no right to compensation. Even when some employers in that particular industry begin to have an inkling that harm is being caused, there is still no right to compensation.
If, however, further investigations are carried out by a large employer which establishes that there is a real risk of harm, the employer may then become liable to pay compensation to individuals if, at that stage, they fail to take the necessary steps to warn their employees of the potential risks. At this stage, it may be seen within the industry concerned that there are potential risks and therefore, all employers both large and small, are expected in law to know that there is a potential risk and that they should be taking all necessary steps to protect their workforce.
Finally, legislation is usually passed which then imposes a statutory duty for all employers to take appropriate steps to protect their employees. Such legislation includes, for example, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH).
To succeed in bringing a claim, the employee must be able to prove that the exposure to the harmful substance or the work procedure has actually caused an injury.
“In other words, the employee must prove that the disease was not caused by something outside the workplace.”
If you have been diagnosed with an industrial-related disease that you believe may have been caused by past employment, please call our specialist Personal Injury team on 02392 483322 (Havant) or on 02380 631111 (Southampton). Alternatively, complete the response e-mail slip.
It is important that you contact us as soon as possible. There is a three year limitation period in which to bring proceedings in these types of claims. The general rule is that proceedings should be issued within three years from when you knew or ought to have known that the illness may have been caused by exposure to a harmful substance by your past employer/s.