I spray paint cars for a living, but now I have just been diagnosed with asthma. Are claims for occupational asthma complicated?
No two claims are the same therefore one cannot say with any real authority how complicated claims for occupational asthma are as each claim for compensation must be judged on its merits.
Spray paint contains chemicals called isocyanates; these chemicals are the most common cause of occupational asthma in the UK. However, you will need to demonstrate that your employer’s negligence or lack of care contributed to your illness in order to claim compensation.
Employers are required to protect all workers from exposure to chemicals and other substances in the workplace, the regulations governing this are set out in ‘The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations.’ Employees using harmful chemicals such as isocyanates, should be operating them in areas with good ventilation and should also be wearing the necessary safety equipment. If your employer fails to provide you with either, they have failed in their duty of care to you.
Occupational asthma is a condition that could have a significant impact on your future health which is why you are advised to speak with a solicitor experienced in claims for occupational asthma to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to.
You should also investigate if any of your work colleagues have contracted the same illness as you will be able to use this to substantiate your compensation claim. It is also recommended that you make a record of your sickness in the employer’s ‘Accident Report Book’.
Of course you may also be worried about pursuing a claim for compensation against your employer – this is natural – but it is important to remember that your claim is against their insurance company and not the employer themselves.
If the insurance company believe their policyholder has been negligent, they may approach you with an early offer of compensation. While an upfront offer may be tempting it is vital you refer this offer to your solicitor. Your employer’s insurers do not have your best interests at heart and it is unlikely their offer of compensation will take into account all the external factors such as age, the state of your health prior to illness and the impact the illness has had on your personal life.
Claims for occupational asthma can be complicated by various factors which is why it is important you have a solicitor evaluate your compensation claim as it would be unwise to consider a direct offer of compensation without having all the facts first.