When we think of accidents at work, injuries caused by slips, trips and falls often come to mind. However, many sectors present hazards to employees that can cause work-related illnesses that are far more serious.
Illnesses and accidents at work: What is asbestosis?
Fundamentally, asbestosis is a lung condition caused by inhaling asbestos particles. Although this is a serious condition on its own, asbestosis can lead to other fatal illnesses such as mesothelioma.
What are the symptoms of asbestosis?
Asbestosis can go unrecognised for a number of years and so it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the condition.
Initially victims of this work-related illness simply suffer from a cough and shortness of breath. As the years progress, some 20 to 30 years later, a more discreet symptom known as finger clubbing may occur; this is simply swelling to the fingers.
What type of work can lead to asbestosis?
Due to its hazardous nature, asbestos is rarely used in industries today, following a sharp decline in the 1990s. Prior to this, the use of asbestos was quite prevalent in a number of industries. The following comprehensive list from the NHS advises that many victims of work-related asbestosis worked as or in:
- Insulation workers.
- Plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters.
- Shipyard workers.
- Sheet metal workers.
- Chemical technicians.
- Heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics.
- Shipbuilding and repair.
- Chemical manufacturing.
- Non-metallic mineral stone production.
- Yarn, thread and fabric mills.
- Rubber and plastic production.
- Trucking services.
I have asbestosis, who is to blame?
If you worked with asbestos in the past, it is likely that your employer is liable for your work-related illness.
Legally, UK employers have a responsibility to ensure your health and safety while at work. As asbestos is a health risk, insufficient training or overexposure to the material can be regarded as employer negligence.
Can I claim compensation for the harm I have suffered?
The best way to determine if you are eligible for compensation is to speak with a law firm, such as Accident Advice Helpline.
All work illness and injury claims are unique and victims do benefit from tailored advice.
Accident Advice Helpline offers a free 24/7 advice line for all victims of work-related injury and illness. This will allow both the law firm and the claimant to establish if the case is likely to be successful and the claim is worth pursuing.
Date Published: February 12, 2014
Author: David Brown