If you have developed one of the two varieties of occupational asthma as a consequence of your employment, then you may be entitled to compensation. Occupational asthma occurs when accidentally exposed to chemical substances or as a consequence of an allergic reaction to materials in your workplace.
Whatever the case, if this is as a consequence of negligence by your employer and you may well be entitled to compensation.
There are varying degrees of asthma, although even the relatively minor form can have a significant impact on your everyday work and private life. If you develop occupational asthma due to the actions/inactions of your employer, then you may well be able to claim negligence and pursue compensation.
It is very important to seek medical assistance at the first signs of asthma so that you can receive treatment.
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What Is Occupational Asthma?
The easiest way to describe occupational asthma is the development of an asthmatic condition in the course of your work. The condition itself is caused by a narrowing of the bronchial passage, which leads to difficulty breathing and a chronic lung condition. It can have a significant impact on the health and well-being of the individual and even stop them from working.
What Are the Two Types of Asthma?
There are two specific types of asthma to consider which are known as irritant induced occupational asthma and allergic occupational asthma. Irritant induced asthma is brought on by often accidental exposure to chemicals in the workplace. Allergic occupational asthma is, as the term suggests, an allergic reaction to a substance/material in the workplace.
What Are the Main Symptoms of Asthma?
There are many different symptoms with asthma, but the more prominent tend to be:-
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness of chest
- Strange wheezing sound
- Constant coughing
Many asthmatics will carry around a variety of different inhalers to treat an attack. However, if this does not work, they may require a nebuliser. While many people have asthma, don’t underestimate the potentially serious consequences associated with this condition.
What Occupations Are Most at Risk From Occupational Asthma?
As the two varieties of occupational asthma revolve around chemicals and substances/materials in the workplace, this condition can emerge in any environment.
Some of the more common scenarios include:-
- Working with motor vehicles
- Using toxic chemicals
- Beauty salons
This list is by no means exclusive, but it will give you an idea of some of the more common scenarios which can bring on occupational asthma.
Does My Employer Have a Duty of Care to All Employees?
Yes. Whether looking at the Health and Safety Work etc. Act 1974 or the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002 (to name but two pieces of legislation) there are various legal protections for employees.
Thankfully there are a number of actions that your employer can take to reduce instances of occupational asthma which include:-
- Installation of appropriate air filtration system in hazardous areas of the workplace
- The provision of PPE/safety equipment to those in high-risk environments
- Up-to-date and constant health and safety training
- Regular risk assessments and appropriate action is taken
- Regular inspections and repair of machinery
- Displaying safety signage
While an employee would need to prove negligence in order to pursue compensation if an employer fails to carry out their duty of care, this would likely be deemed negligent.
My Employer Is Ignoring My Concerns About Safety; What Should I Do?
It is important to retain a copy of your communications with your employer so that you have a reference point if required in the future. If your employer refused to acknowledge your safety concerns, and there was an accident, they would be in serious trouble.
Where you have concerns about your safety, you are well within your rights to refuse to carry out such activities. This potential threat is likely to prompt your employer to rethink their approach.
How Do I Pursue Compensation?
In order to pursue the compensation, you will first need to prove negligence on behalf of your employer.
This will require evidence such as:-
- Medical diagnosis
- Witness statements
- Copies of correspondence with the employer
- Evidence of inappropriate safety/PPE equipment
- Copy of medical records
- Evidence of substandard training procedures
- Evidence of substandard working procedures
- Timeline of events
- Details of your pain and suffering
Obviously, if you begin to develop any type of medical condition, it is imperative that you seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Feedback from your doctor can also prove highly influential when seeking compensation.
Do I Need to Employ a Claims Management Company?
Even the simplest of compensation claims can turn out to be a little more technical and complicated than you first thought. When it comes to issues such as occupational asthma, while there are various tests which can be carried out, you will still need to provide evidence that the condition was as a consequence of your working environment. This is the crux to any negligence claim.
So, while you are perfectly entitled to pursue compensation in your own right, the vast majority of people will look towards a claims management company for assistance.
Can I Proceed on a “No Win No Fee” Arrangement?
If after reviewing your evidence, a claims management company believes that you have a minimum 60% chance of success, they will likely offer you a “no win no fee” arrangement. This effectively removes any liability you may have to cover the cost of your claims management company when pursuing your case.
In exchange, they will negotiate what is known as a “success fee” which is traditionally around 25% of any compensation awarded.
Can I Pursue Compensation on Behalf of a Partner Who Died of Occupational Asthma?
Yes. There is a general misconception that just because the victim has died, this means that their right to compensation goes with them. As a partner, family member, child or legal representative, you may well be able to pursue compensation on their behalf.
If the loss of your partner has had a detrimental impact on your finances and standard of living, you may even be able to claim compensation for the changes in your life.
Whether as a result of exposure to chemicals in the workplace, or an allergic reaction to substances/materials, occupational asthma is a serious issue. If you believe your employer has been negligent, resulting in you developing occupational asthma, you have every right to pursue compensation.
Quick Industrial illness & Disease FAQs
On average, your claims management company will look to negotiate a success fee of around 25%, although this can vary depending on the level of compensation received and duration of the case. This is something which needs to be agreed before the claims management company can pursue your claim.
Special damages are best described as recompense for costs incurred, future medical expenses and other elements such as loss of earnings. If you are unable to return to work as a consequence of an industrial disease/illness, and your employer is found negligent, then they may need to recompense you for loss of earnings.
If you were paying legal fees and costs yourself, this could run into tens of thousands of pounds depending on the type of claim and the duration. Thankfully, many claims management companies will offer a “no win no fee” arrangement if, after reviewing your evidence, they believe you have a minimum 60% chance of success.
This effectively removes your liability to cover their costs when pursuing your case. In exchange, the claims management company will negotiate what is known as a “success fee”.
The pursuit of compensation for industrial diseases such as hearing loss should be done within a three-year window of opportunity. This window of opportunity begins on the first official diagnosis of your condition – not necessarily the event(s) which brought about the condition.
With issues such as hearing loss, which can worsen over a prolonged period of time, this is very important. We have seen cases where individuals have been diagnosed months and even years down the line, yet still been able to seek compensation.
How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With Making an Industrial illness Compensation Claim?
Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Industrial illness Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for injuries & illnesses they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.
Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.
If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.