An industrial disease can be caused by exposure to asbestos, chemicals and dust, noise and vibration or repetitive physical actions. If you or a loved one suffered harm because your employer failed to protect your health in the workplace, you may be entitled to make an industrial disease claim.
Employers have a responsibility to protect the health and safety of their employees. When this protection is inadequate, the results can be devastating and you have the right to seek compensation.
Industrial disease can affect anyone in almost any workplace. No matter what the circumstances or industry sector all are potential life-altering conditions. It is your employer’s duty to eliminate the risk of injury. If this is not possible, it is the employer’s responsibility to take measures to alleviate that risk including the provision of suitable personal protective equipment, that you are trained on how to use it and that they enforce the wearing of it.
There exist many dangerous or noisy working environments where hazardous substances and situations are commonplace. The risks of developing an industrial illness or disease in these situations are high. However, there are also environments where the risk of exposure may not seem so obvious but still present a risk of developing an illness or disease.
Industrial disease claims are usually associated with heavy industry like steel making, mining, or shipbuilding as well as agriculture and forestry. However, people in almost any job can get a work-related illness. Asbestos-related cancers such as mesothelioma can afflict schoolteachers who are doing nothing more hazardous than pinning pupil work examples on walls. Respiratory problems, skin diseases, musculoskeletal injuries and industrial deafness are not confined to the factory, mine, shipyard and building site and can just as easily strike office or warehouse workers.
No matter what your occupation, your employer has a duty to protect you from harm in the workplace. The law now puts the onus on you to prove that the employer neglected their duty towards you. If you can do so and demonstrate that the illness or injury you suffered was directly caused by your working conditions, you could have a claim against your current or former employers.