Personal injury solicitors often work on behalf of clients who have sustained an industrial disease at work.
One of the more common personal injury claims surrounds dust or asbestos related illnesses. One man, who used to work in a foundry, recently availed of the services of a firm of injury solicitors after he contracted silicosis.
During the course of his work, the man used grinding and finishing machines which generated a lot of dust. Although a dust extraction system was in place, part of his duties involved cleaning the extraction fans.
Although his employer provided basic paper masks, he got through many of these every day. Furthermore, the extraction systems were not reliable and often broke down. By the end of his working day, a coating of dust was visible on the surfaces of his work area. As a result, the man developed emphysema and silicosis.
Silicosis is a form of pneumoconiosis and is a permanent respiratory illness. Victims have trouble breathing, pains in the chest and reduced lung function. The man’s illness meant he could no longer continue his occupation and had to take a job with lower pay.
His lawyers advised him to claim personal injury compensation from his former employer on the grounds that they should have issued him with better protective equipment or installed more efficient extraction systems.
The employer initially denied liability and the lawyers began court proceedings. However, a settlement was negotiated before the case went to trial and the man received a compensation award of £35,000.