INDUSTRIAL DISEASE CLAIMS ADVICE UK
Legal Claim UK is a national network of specialist personal injury solicitors. Our lawyers are all members the Law Society panel of personal injury experts¹ and will deal with industrial disease claims using the no win no fee scheme. Compensation is paid in full and win or lose there is no charge. We can assist our clients in respect of all types of industrial disease claims, and these include:-
• asbestos related conditions
• vibration white finger (VWF)
• industrial deafness
• skin conditions
• occupational lung disease
• miners illnesses
• repetitive strain injury (RSI)
• work induced stress
• noxious substance poisoning
The health and safety of employees working for British firms is protected by laws passed by both the UK Parliament and also by the European Union which clearly outline the standards which employers should attain to ensure safety within the workplace. In general terms in order to claim compensation it is usually necessary to prove ‘negligence’ which means it must be shown that the employer did not act with reasonable care however in occupation damages cases an employer will often be held to be ‘strictly liable’ without the necessity to prove negligence. All employers must be insured and must display an Employer's Liability Insurance Certificate. It is extremely difficult for an employer to escape being liable if an employee is injured during the course of his employment. Our personal injury experts deal with a wide range of occupational claims arising both in industrial situations and in an office environment. Employers must act within the law and so far as is reasonably possible provide a risk free work environment with the following basic essentials:
• capable and safety conscious employees
• appropriate equipment and training
• a safe place to work
The Limitation Act 1980 determines the time limits for taking legal action in the UK. In general terms, subject to a number of exceptions it is usually necessary to either settle a claim or issue proceedings within three years of the injury however in the case an industrial disease claim there may be a long period between exposure to the dangerous practice or noxious substance and the effects being noticed by the sufferer. In these cases the three year time period does not, in general, start running until the illness was either discovered or should with reasonable diligence have been discovered. As would be expected these time limits and the definitions of them frequently give rise to litigation in the courts particularly by insurers attempting to evade liability by showing that the time limit for taking action has expired. It is therefore of paramount importance that legal advice is sought as soon as there is any suspicion of an occupational illness. A delay of just one day is, in many circumstances, enough to preclude a claim with the opportunity of recovering damages being lost forever.
Damages that can be recovered in these cases usually follow the general rules for compensation and are divided into two categories being ‘special damages’ which represents compensation for items that can be calculated accurately and ‘general damages’ which represents compensation for items that cannot be calculated with precision and must be assessed.
• General Damages:
o pain and suffering
o loss of lifestyle
o loss of future job opportunities
• Special Damages:
o loss of past wages
o loss of future wages
o medical treatment and equipment
o loss of pension
o cost of free assistance
o dependents claim
o general expenses
o legal expenses
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the main legislation used to protect employees from harm and requires employers is to carry out a risk assessment and to record any significant findings and thereafter to take appropriate action to implement the health and safety measures identified as necessary by the risk assessment. In addition there is a host of minor legislation that applies in particular circumstances most prominent of which includes ;
• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations 1992:
Protective clothing and equipment.
• Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999:
Risk assessments and implementation of protective measures.
• Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992:
• Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998:
Equipment and machinery safety.
• Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992:
Physical movement of workplace objects.
• Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981:
First aid regulations.
• The Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations 1989:
Posters must be displayed in the workplace about health and safety.
• Noise at Work Regulations 1989:
Protection from industrial deafness.
• Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1999 (COSHH);
Noxious substances regulations.
• Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992:
Maintenance and condition of the workplace environment.
• Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations (CHIP 2) 1994;
Classification of dangerous chemicals.
• Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994:
Regulates systems of work on construction sites.
• Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998:
Installation and maintenance rules.
If you have discovered your illness within the last three years and would like free advice on industrial disease claims you should contact us. You will receive a complete professional service from lawyers who specialise in claiming compensation for occupational personal injury.
About the Author: Ankit is a well know author who writes for www.legal-claim.co.uk