For some people the issue of industrial diseases is a contentious one. In the past it was felt that people should accept that certain risks go with certain jobs. However, this is no longer the case and instead the big issue is that people who work deserve to be protected by their employer as much as possible and if as a result of getting an illness they can no longer do that job then they deserve to be compensated for what they have lost through no fault of their own.
It is important to note that you can still make a claim for compensation even if you no longer work at a company- for example, people who have suffered illness due to exposure to asbestos can still claim because it can take years for the symptoms to be clearly displayed.
There are a number of different types of industrial disease a person can suffer from and they can vary depending on the type of work you do or did previously. For example, people who work with vibratory tools are at risk of HAVS (Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome) if the usage of those tools is not properly controlled and supervised.
The first thing to do if you see any symptoms of a work related illness is to ask your employer for an occupational health assessment. They can then decide whether or not they need to make adjustments to your working environment. You should also speak to your doctor about any symptoms and get any necessary medical treatment as soon as possible.
As stated above, before a claim can go back to previous employers and even companies that have gone out of business can be traced back through insurers. Where this can be difficult however is in looking at your medical history and showing whether or not you can make a claim within a 3 year limit (it does depend on your level of knowledge and whether or not it can be proven that the company did not take sufficient care).
This is why it helps to talk to people with the appropriate legal knowledge and expertise. Our Industrial Diseases team specialise in these type of cases and can help (they recently attended the British Thoraic & Oncology Group Conference in Dublin).
If you would like to know more please contact them today and they can guide you through the process, ensuring that you get the full benefit of their experience and giving you the information you need- both in terms of how to make a claim and to give you an idea of whether or not your claim will be successful.
To get in touch with our specialists and for more information on this and other legal matters please contact us today for a free consultation.