Thousands of workers are killed or injured each year as a result of exposure to a hazardous substance.
From dermatitis to asthma to mesothelioma, uncontrolled exposure to hazardous substances can cause a variety of short term and long-term illnesses, with the severity highly dependent on the type of substance, the degree of exposure, and how long the victim was exposed. What's more, hazardous substances are found in all sorts of work environments. Offices and schools, for example, can contain asbestos in the ceilings and walls – a hidden killer that may go undetected for many years.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, there are various matters and substances considered to be hazardous to health. These include:
- Products producing chemicals
- Gases and asphyxiating gases
- Biological agents
How are hazardous substances in the workplace controlled?
In order to protect workers from the risks posed by hazardous substances, the Government has over the years imposed a variety of requirements on employers.
The most well-known set of rules used to control hazardous substances in the workplace is the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH). These require employers to control exposure to hazardous substances to prevent ill health to persons who work or come into contact with these substances. The regulations protect both employees, especially those who work in the industries known to be most at risk (including the baking, agriculture, engineering, motor vehicle repair, and woodworking industries), and others who may be exposed. In order to comply with these regulations and the law, employers must assess the risks involved in jobs, implement any measures needed to control the exposure and generally ensure good and safe working practices.
What about other harmful substances?
Not every substance which poses a risk to workers' health is covered by COSHH. A number of specific substances have their own sets of regulations. Asbestos, lead, and radioactive substances all have their own strict rules for workers to abide by. A warning label is often present to warn the user whether the COSHH regulations apply.
You will find more information on hazardous substances in the work accident section of this website.
Thompsons Solicitors, always on your side
The process of making a claim for exposure to hazardous substances can seem daunting, but with the right legal advice you will hopefully be able to settle your case efficiently and reach the best possible outcome for you and your family.
With Thompsons, you can rest assured that you will be getting all the help, guidance, and advice you require. Our personal injury solicitors have many years of experience dealing with a diverse range of claims, including those regarding illness from exposure to hazardous substances.
If you have any queries concerning the claims process, you can consult our industrial disease FAQ page, where we answer the most pertinent questions.
Our No Win No Fee compensation lawyers aim not just to get you the damages owed to you but also to support you every step of the way. So, if you have been exposed to a hazardous substance in circumstances that were not your fault and suffered injury or illness as a result, get in touch with Thompsons Solicitors today on 0800 0891 331 for an initial discussion.
This phone call is free, and you're at no obligation to move forward with a claim.