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Occupational Asthma

Asthma is a common lung condition that causes breathing difficulties for millions of people in the UK. It can be triggered by a number of different reasons, from allergies, smoke, pollution and cold air, to infections like cold and flu.

You may however have developed occupational asthma due to exposure to dust and fumes in the workplace. If you have experienced the following symptoms because your employer failed to provide you with appropriate protection (PPE), you could be entitled to make a claim:

  • Breathlessness
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Tightening of the chest
  • Asthma attacks

Call us today on 0344 854 7000 or submit your details via our online enquiry form to arrange a free initial consultation of your personal injury case. We will handle your industrial disease case on a No Win, No Fee basis.

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How do I know if my asthma is work-related?

To determine if your asthma is work-related it is likely that:

• You are exposed to dust and fumes during your working day.
• Your symptoms worsen during work hours and improve when you are away from the workplace.
• Your employer has failed to provide you with the appropriate PPE to reduce the risk of asthma.

Which professions are most at risk of developing occupational asthma?

Occupational asthma can affect people in many different lines of work. It is however more common for people who work in the following professions to develop the condition:

• Bakers/Flour confectioners
• Vehicle paint technicians
• Farmers/agricultural workers
• Carpenters
• Cleaners
• Builders
• Metal-workers
• Shipyard workers

What responsibilities does my employer have?

Employers are legally obliged under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to protect the safety and well being of their staff in the workplace. This includes conducting risk assessments and putting in place ‘reasonable’ measures to protect staff from dangers.

Under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Act 2002 (COSHH) employers are required to manage exposure to dangerous substances where it is not possible for them to be removed or substituted.

If your employer fails to implement any of the below precautions or procedures and you develop occupational asthma as a result, this could result in a claim for negligence. Your employer must:

• Provide appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE), such as breathing apparatus.
• Minimise the use and spread of substances known to cause asthma.
• Install and maintain air filtration systems.
• Provide regular equipment and safety training.

Is occupational asthma permanent?

Occupational asthma can be cured if the symptoms are identified early on, and you are no longer exposed to the dust and fumes that trigger it. This is however not always the case for everyone. Some people’s symptoms can stop as soon as they aren’t in contact with the trigger, whereas other people can carry on experiences pain and discomfort for years.

Is there a time frame for making a claim?

You have up to three years from the date in which you became aware that your asthma might be work-related to submit a claim.

If you are making an industrial asthma claim on behalf of a loved one that has sadly passed away, you have up to three years from the date of death, or from the date in which you received the post-motem results.

What can I claim compensation for?

Occupational asthma compensation can be used to cover costs such as:

• Current and future loss of earnings.
• Pain and suffering.
• Medical and care expenses.
• Care and support.
• Reduced life expectancy.
• Expected lifestyle changes

How much will my claim be worth?

The amount of compensation that you may receive is dependent upon the individual circumstances of your case. The amount will depend on factors such as:

• The severity of your further health complications.
• How your life has been affected by your illness.
• Your future care and support needs.
• Financial losses, including how much money you have lost or will lose as a result of your condition (e.g. loss of earnings, travel expenses).

Can I make a claim if I my employer has ceased trading?

You may still be able to make a claim for industrial asthma even if the company that you worked for, when you contracted the illness, has ceased trading. Your employer would have had insurance in place to deal with claims of this nature; it is therefore the insurer’s responsibility to payout for arising compensation payouts.

How much will it cost to make a claim?

True Solicitors handle all industrial disease claims on a No Win, No Fee basis, meaning that there are no upfront costs to pay.

We offer a free initial, no obligation assessment of your case. Contact us on 0344 854 7000 or submit your details via our online enquiry form and we’ll call you back.

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