An industrial disease is one that is attributable to conditions of a workplace, which means you may have the right to make a compensation claim. Here are five serious industrial diseases that you may want to speak to a solicitor about.
1. Asbestos-related diseases – Asbestos was once considered the ‘magic mineral’ and was used for a number of industrial purposes in the 1900s. It wasn’t until the mid 1970s that the health effects of the mineral came to light and evasive action was taken. However, for many people who inhaled or ingested the asbestos fibres, which cannot be seen by the naked eye, it has led to diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, pleural plaques and asbestosis. In many cases, these diseases will take years or even decades to manifest.
2. Non asbestos-related respiratory diseases – Bakers, flour confectioners, spray painters and employees in the welding trades are careers that have found to be particularly vulnerable to occupational respiratory disease and industrial asthma. Effecting an estimated 170,000 people in the UK, the symptoms can include lung problems and breathing difficulties. As well as asthma, other respiratory diseases are pneumoconiosis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease.
3. Vibration white finger – Also known as VWF or Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), this is caused by using vibrating equipment at work for a prolonged length of time. Use of drills, saws, road breakers, wackers, rotating tools and compressed air tools are all linked to the condition, which could make it more difficult for you in the future to perform jobs that require manual dexterity.
4. Skin diseases – Often caused by chemical irritants, including solvents and cutting fluids, the most common occupational skin disease is dermatitis. This is where the skin can be rough and raw, later becoming itchy, cracked and sore. The occupations that are most frequently linked to such conditions like dermatitis are hairdressers and labourers involved in the manufacture of rubber chemicals, cleaners and soaps.
5. Industrial deafness and tinnitus – Industrial deafness is where hearing has been permanently lost as the direct result of exposure to industrial noise in a workplace. Some 170,000 in the UK are thought to suffer from a hearing-related disease caused by their occupational environment. One common hearing problem caused by excessive noise at work is tinnitus, a condition that produces ringing, whistling or humming in the ears, without an external source.
If you or someone close suffers from an asbestos related illness or any other form of industrial disease you may be entitled to compensation.