What is an industrial disease or injury?
Industrial diseases and injuries result from exposure to occupational hazards in the workplace over a period of time.
These hazards vary according to the type of work being carried out, but they could involve harmful substances, such as chemicals, dust or fumes; or harmful activities such as using vibrating tools or machinery; or harmful environments, such as one that is very loud.
Examples of industrial diseases and injuries include the following:
- Asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma or asbestosis
- Occupational Asthma
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome
- Vibration White Finger
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Dupuytren's Contracture
- Work-related Tendonitis
- Epicondylitis (Golfer's and Tennis Elbow)
- Carpet Fitter's or Housemaid's Knee
- Noise-induced deafness
- Persistent Tinnitus
If you have suffered illness as a result of your working life and your employer failed to provide you with adaquate protection and training, or failed to take steps to provide safe working conditions, you may be able to claim compensation. Read on for more answers to frequently asked questions about industrial disease and injury claims.
Who will pay the compensation?
My employer has gone out of business, can I still claim?
Will my case go to court?
How much will it cost to fund my claim?
What are the time limits for industrial disease claims?
You can make a claim up to three years from the date the you knew or ought to have known that you were suffering from a work-related illness, or three years from the date of last exposure to any substance or process which has caused the condition (whichever is the later date).
Given that many industrial diseases take a long time to develop, it may be that you need to make a claim decades after the firm responsible for your illness has ceased to trade. But, as long as it is within three years of diagnosis of an industrial disease, it may still be possible to claim compensation when retired or no longer work for the former employer responsible for causing your illness.
Can I still claim state benefits?
If a family member has died as a result of an industrial disease, can we make a claim?
It is possible to claim compensation on behalf of a deceased family member. However, the claim must be brought within three years of the date of death. Similarly, if the claimant dies during the course of the case, the family can continue with the claim on his or her behalf.
However, if your family member has an industrial disease and later dies from an unrelated incident, you would have three years to claim in respect of the work related illness from the date they knew or ought to have known they were suffering from the condition, not from the date of the unrelated death.
How will I prove liability?
Can I claim compensation following work in Scotland, if I now live outside of Scotland?
So, what's the next step?
The team of industrial disease claim solicitors at Thompsons has extensive experience dealing with occupational health claims and we only ever work for claimants, never for companies or insurers. We believe passionately that it is also our role to campaign for better, safer working conditions for employees in Scotland.
To get your industrial disease or injury claim underway, just call Thompsons today on 0800 0891 331 or use our contact form to tell us a bit about your circumstances so that we can call you back at a time to suit you.