Personal Injury
By Seanin Somerville
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Industrial Diseases- Asbestosis

What are Industrial Diseases? The most common

An industrial disease refers to an illness or a condition that is caused due to unsafe working conditions or methods, and also arises when an individual is exposed to certain substances and materials while undertaking their work duties. Industrial diseases include repetitive strain injuries, asthma, skin disease, and cancer. Two major industrial diseases is asbestosis and mesothelioma. 

Asbestosis and Mesothelioma

Asbestosis and mesothelioma are two of the most occurring lung conditions arising from exposure to asbestos. Both are detrimental lung conditions which are often caused by an ongoing exposure to a material caused asbestos. Asbestos is classified as a fibre like material used in buildings for the purpose of insultation and flooring. Asbestos can release a specific dust which contains these fibres. Individuals unknowingly breathe this dust in over a long period of time while they are working. This can develop into a condition called asbestosis. It is a lung disease caused by inhalation of the asbestos fibres and there is usually no cure.  

Mesothelioma is a category of cancer which is also caused by inhalation of asbestos fibres. Individuals who are diagnosed with asbestosis are at a high risk of contracting mesothelioma. This cancer affects the lining of the lungs, stomach, heart, and/ or testicles.

Who does this Affect?

Asbestos fibres will have affected plumbers, constructions workers, electricians, heating engineers, and demolition workers who were instructed to demolish buildings containing asbestos. Asbestosis can also be contracted by someone who comes into close contact with the individual’s person or clothes.

Has too much time passed to make a claim?

Both diseases are usually not diagnosed until long after the exposure, approximately 20 years or more after. This is because symptoms usually do not develop until this time. Victims may not be aware that they can still make a claim in negligence as after this length of time they may no longer be employed by the same entity.

Despite this, an individual can still make a claim if there has been a diagnosis within the last three years. While working with materials containing asbestos is a thing of the past and is no longer applicable in workplaces, an individual will still have a plausible case if they worked under these conditions fifty years ago.

Making a Claim

Your employer owes you a duty of care as an employee and the individual must be protected from any forthcoming health risks. Such risks would include not exposing the employee to unsafe conditions or materials such as asbestos. Exposure can change your life.

The affected individual can make a civil claim for compensation. This will involve consulting with an experienced Solicitor, then a Pre-Action Letter will be issued to the employer and a site inspection may be arranged at the location of employment where the disease was contracted. A decision on liability may then be made and the individual will be entitled to compensation, or else court proceedings may be issued.

Get in touch with our Personal Injury Solicitors on 02997722101 or make an online enquiry.

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