Every year in the UK over 2 million employees suffer from personal injuries whilst in the workplace many of which are caused by environmental factors and are termed as industrial disease or occupational illness. Industrial diseases can range from a simple rash to a fatal illness and all need to be taken seriously by every employer and employee. The most common industrial diseases which result in occupational illness solicitors taking legal action include skin conditions, chest complaints, hearing loss and tinnitus, vibration white finger (VWF), repetitive strain injury (RSI) and asbestos related diseases including asbestosis, pleural plaques and mesothelioma.
Our occupational illness lawyers deal with industrial disease claims using the no win no fee scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client.
Our occupational illness solicitors can assist clients in respect to all types of personal injury due to conditions in the workplace and these include:-
Legal action for an industrial disease claim is usually based on the provisions contained in the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974. This statute has been significantly enhanced by the incorporation of European Union (EU) regulations, which are also effectively mandatory for all UK employers. Most UK prosecutions for breaches of the regulations are handled by the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which is responsible for the enforcement of health and safety laws. Both government agencies have detailed websites explaining workers rights and laws pertaining to industrial disease and occupational illness. For free advice on personal injury compensation claims just contact our occupational illness solicitors.
The health and safety of employees is protected by regulations passed by the UK Parliament which clearly outline the standards that employers must attain to ensure safety within the workplace. In general terms, in order to make a successful industrial disease claim it is usually necessary to prove 'negligence' which means that it must be shown that the employer did not act with reasonable care, however in some occupational illness cases, an employer may be held to be 'strictly liable' without the necessity to prove negligence. All employers must be insured and must display an Employer's Liability Insurance Certificate. It is extremely difficult for an employer to escape liability if an employee is injured during the course of employment. Our personal injury solicitors deal with a wide range of occupational illness claims arising both in industrial situations and in an office environment. Employers must act within the law and so far as is reasonably possible provide a risk free work environment with the following basic essentials :-
The Limitation Act 1980 determines the time limits for taking legal action in the UK. In general terms, subject to some exceptions it is usually necessary to either settle legal actions or issue legal proceedings in a court of law within three years of the injury however in the case of industrial disease claims there may be a long period between exposure and the effects being noticed by the sufferer. In these cases the three year time period does not, in general, start running until the illness was either discovered or should, with reasonable diligence, have been discovered. As would be expected these time limits and the definitions of them frequently give rise to litigation in the courts particularly by insurers attempting to evade liability by showing that the time limit for taking action has expired. It is therefore of paramount importance that legal advice is sought as soon as there is any suspicion of an occupational illness.
Damages that can be recovered in industrial disease claims usually follow the general rules for compensation and are divided into two categories being 'special damages' which represents compensation for items that can be calculated accurately and ‘general damages’ which represents compensation for items that cannot be calculated with precision and must be assessed.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the main legislation used to protect employees from harm and requires employers is to carry out a risk assessment and to record any significant findings and thereafter to take appropriate action to implement the health and safety measures identified as necessary by the risk assessment. In addition there is a host of minor legislation that applies in particular circumstances most prominent of which includes :-
If you have discovered your illness within the last three years and would like free advice you should contact our occupational illness solicitors. You will receive a complete professional service from lawyers who specialise in claiming compensation for personal injury.Solicitors Helpline: ☎ 0844 332 0859