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Compensation for Injury by Fumes in Factory

I have been diagnosed with occupational asthma after working for many years on a soldering bench. Does this qualify me for compensation for injury by fumes in factory?

Question:

I have been diagnosed with occupational asthma after working for many years on a soldering bench. Does this qualify me for compensation for injury by fumes in factory?

Answer:

Simply because you have been diagnosed with a condition that may be attributable to toxic fumes in your working conditions, you do not automatically qualify to make a claim for compensation for injury by fumes in factory. In order to be eligible for fumes in factory injury compensation, it has to be shown that your occupational asthma was contracted due your employer´s negligence and a breach in his duty of care to provide you with a safe environment in which to work.

The primary laws governing exposure to dangerous materials – such as the toxic factory fumes released from rosin-based wires when they are soldered together – are contained in the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994. These contain the safeguards that should be put in place to limit the risk of injury due to fumes poisoning in factory and include the provision of personal protective equipment and adequate ventilation. If your employer is in breach of any of these health and safety regulations, you will be entitled to claim for injury by fumes in factory.

The first actions you should take are to make a report of your injury by fumes in factory in your employer´s “Accident Report Book” and speak with any of your colleagues to discover if any of them are suffering from the same symptoms of occupational asthma. Your employer is obliged to report your occupational asthma immediately to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 and this should prompt an HSE investigation – especially if there is a past history of injury due to fumes in factory.

Rather than wait for the results of the HSE investigation, it is in your best interests to speak with a personal injury solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity. Once the solicitor has heard more details about your working environment, the personal protective equipment you were provided with and whether work colleagues are suffering from the same symptoms as you, he or she will be able to advise you whether you have a claim for fumes in factory injury compensation which it is worth your while to pursue.

If so, the solicitor will calculate how much compensation for injury by fumes in factory you are entitled to receive based on the extent of your injury, your age and general state of health prior to your diagnosis. The solicitor will also include in their assessment the effect that your occupational asthma will have on your quality of life and what the financial implications are of your injury due to fumes in factory. This assessment may prove to be invaluable in you are approached directly after the HSE has concluded its investigation by your employer´s Employer Liability insurance company.

Insurance companies often make direct approaches to victims of employer negligence when their client is responsible for a workplace injury, and their offer of fumes in factory injury compensation is usually much lower than a solicitor´s assessment. Although the offer of an immediate settlement may be appealing if you are concerned about your short-term income, it is far better for you to refer the insurance company to your solicitor who will negotiate a far more appropriate settlement of compensation for injury by fumes in factory on your behalf.