You have probably seen adverts on television about industrial accidents and diseases saying how “you might be entitled to compensation.” While some people decry “health and safety” there is a reason it exists – to reduce the risk of people getting hurt and to make the workplace as safe as possible.
Below are a few examples of common industrial diseases you should be aware of:
Asbestos was a substance that was commonly used for decades due to its flame retardant properties until it was banned around the Sixties. The reason it was banned was due to the fact that exposure to asbestos can cause serious illness and/or death.
This is complicated by the fact that the symptoms of asbestos-related illnesses may not occur until decades after the initial exposure, which is why any construction projects need to carefully consider what to do in the event of discovering asbestos and to ensure that it is disposed of safely and correctly.
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome
This is a slight but repeated injury, typically around the fingers. It can cause numbness, aches and pains (typically if you are doing repeated actions in an office or industrial environment, especially in the cold.)
This can be prevented by checking that equipment is used properly and that anyone using it takes regular breaks in order to reduce the risk to their health as much as possible.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss
If you are using noisy machinery ear defenders are vital. Loud noises can damage the cells in the cochlea, making it difficult to hear certain frequencies.
Cumulative Back Injury
Over time your back can get strained and micro-traumas can be caused by micro-tears in the spinal discs. This is why good posture is vital and that when doing heavy lifting either lift with your knees or use appropriate aids in order to reduce the risk of injury.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
This is a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the lower leg. This can occur after long periods of sitting down and inactivity, so if possible remember to try to move around during breaks.
It is very hard to completely remove the risk of illness or injury in any workplace. However, responsibility lies with both the people working and their employers. As an employee you need to follow health and safety guidelines in order to reduce the chances of getting injured or ill as much as possible.
Employers have a responsibility to give their employees the tools they need in order to minimise any threats to their health and safety. The right equipment, protective clothing and training can reduce a lot of accidents and illnesses that could result in long absences.
Whether you are an employer or an employee it helps to be aware of the potential dangers of your workplace. Equally if you do believe that your employer did not do enough to protect your well-being on their premises we are happy to discuss this.
For more information on the law regarding industrial illnesses or to consult with us on specific issues affecting you please contact us today.