Occupational respiratory diseases are a very real threat to the health and safety of millions of workers throughout the UK. The effects of occupational respiratory diseases can be significant, long-lasting and, ultimately, fatal.
This is why guarding against industrial illnesses is such an important part of safety at work in a range of jobs. It’s especially prevalent in industries like construction, metal work and factory production.
What types of occupational respiratory diseases are there?
The most common occupational respiratory diseases include the following:
- Asbestosis: Probably the most famous example, Asbestos is a lung disease caused by exposure to asbestos. It is often suffered by people who worked on building sites and similar environments before the dangers of asbestos became widely known and safety measures were put in place.
- Coalworker’s Pneumoconiosis: Also known as black lung disease, Coalworker’s pneumoconiosis is an occupational respiratory disease caused by prolonged (over 10 years) exposure to coal dust. Similar to asbestosis, it has been found in significant numbers of coal miners from the 1970s, who worked without the same level of health and safety we see today.
- Silicosis: A fibrosing lung disease caused by the inhalation of fine silica particles. Most consumers will recognise silica from the small packets you often get in shoe boxes labelled “do not eat.” Silica is most dangerous in the form of quartz or cristobalite.
- Mesothelioma: Mesothelioma is cancer of the mesothelium, which includes the pleura – the lining of the lungs. This form of cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos.
Making a claim
If you suffer from occupational respiratory diseases, it’s important to remember that you may be due work illness compensation. Unlike physical accidents like slips, trips and falls, industrial illness claims are not subject to the same time frames. For a fall at work, the claims process usually has to be started within three years of the accident occurring. This is not the case with work-related illnesses. This is because it can often take a lot longer than three years for symptoms of occupational respiratory diseases to materialise. It can take even longer to realise the extent and impact of their damage.
If you think you may have a case for work illness compensation, call Accident Advice Helpline today. With over 16 years’ experience in personal injury claims, we are perfectly placed to see you through to a successful conclusion. Call our expert advisors today on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from mobiles.
Date Published: March 9, 2017
Author: Accident Advice