Occupational or industrial asthma is a condition that can result from working in close proximity to several types of irritants or allergens. As well as leaving you short of breath it can cause other symptoms that might affect your ability to work. These symptoms could also affect your family or social life as well. While you are at work, your employer needs to do all they can to try and prevent you from becoming ill or injured. As such, if you contract occupational asthma because of a lack of ventilation, for example, you could be entitled to compensation.
In this article on occupational asthma claims, we’ll explain when you might be entitled to compensation and how the claims process works.
Our team of industrial injury claims specialists can help if you decide to take action. To begin, you’ll be offered a no-obligation consultation to review your claim. During the call, free legal advice will be given about your chances of being compensated. If your claim appears to have strong enough grounds, one of our personal injury solicitors might be appointed. They’ll manage all aspects of your claim on a No Win No Fee basis if it is accepted. As a result, you won’t need to worry about paying solicitor’s fees unless you’re compensated.
If you’d like to discuss your options immediately, please call our team now on 0800 652 1345. Otherwise, please read the rest of this article to learn more about claiming occupational asthma compensation.
What is Occupational Asthma?
Occupational asthma is linked to the inhalation of substances in the workplace. You might have occupational/industrial asthma if you work with irritants and you could develop the symptoms of asthma even if you’ve been healthy in the past. Also, occupational asthma claims might be possible if a job leads to the return of childhood asthma.
Many irritants and allergens are known to cause occupational asthma including:
- Flour dust.
- Nickel sulphate.
- Some dyes.
- Diazonium salts.
- Storage mites.
- Polyurethane plastics, foams and adhesives.
- Hardwood dust.
- Coffee bean dust.
- Alpha amylases.
Many of these irritants are found in chemicals, dust and fumes in the workplace. Here is a fuller list of substances that can cause occupational asthma from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Those working as mechanics, healthcare workers, printers, cooks and hairdressers are known to be at a higher risk of contracting occupational asthma.
Symptoms of Occupational Asthma
Some of the main symptoms that might lead to asthma diagnosis include:
- A tight chest.
- Coughing and wheezing.
- Shortness of breath.
- Rhinitis (inflammation of the inside of your nose).
- Conjunctivitis (red, itchy and inflamed eyes).
To link your symptoms to occupational asthma, a doctor might ask:
- Have you only had symptoms of asthma as an adult?
- Are symptoms worse when you’re at work?
- Is your sleep disturbed by symptoms on days that you’ve worked?
- Have you got any history of allergies?
To confirm their diagnosis, doctors may perform several tests including a peak flow test to help monitor your lung capacity over a period of time.
Can I claim compensation for Occupational Asthma?
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a duty of care on employers to try and protect their staff’s welfare. That means they need to assess the workplace and remove or reduce any dangers. If they don’t, they may have breached their duty of care. Before a solicitor will take on an occupational asthma claim, they’ll look to see whether:
- Your employer has in fact breached their legal duty of care; and
- You’ve been diagnosed with occupational asthma; and
- Your suffering has been linked directly to your workplace.
Proving these criteria is something you’ll need to do if you’re to win your compensation claim. In our opinion, your chances of doing so improve if you have a personal injury lawyer on your side. So, why not get in touch today to see if we could help you to claim?
How much compensation for Occupational Asthma could I claim?
When your solicitor files a claim for occupational asthma compensation against your employer, the amount they ask for will be carefully calculated by your solicitor, so to achieve the best settlement. Compensation is based mainly on two elements, general damages and special damages. These can include compensation to cover:
- How much suffering your condition has caused.
- Any impact on your family or social life, otherwise known as loss of amenity.
- Any loss of income caused by your condition.
- The cost of private medical treatment.
- The cost of a carer or an amount to cover the time a loved one has spent caring for you.
- Travel expenses.
- Modifications to your home or vehicle to help you cope better with your condition.
To see what you could be compensated for if your occupational asthma claim is won, please get in touch today.
Occupational Asthma compensation amounts
- £43,060 to £65,740 for most severe and permanent disabling asthma.
- £26,290 to £43,010 for less severe chronic asthma.
- £19,200 to £26,290 where there’s likely to be a good amount of recovery within a few years following exposure.
- £10,640 to £19,200 for relatively mild asthma.
- Up to £5,150 for mild asthma.
Types of negligence that can cause Occupational Asthma
You might be entitled to compensation for occupational asthma if your employer:
- Failed to train you properly on health and safety procedures.
- Failed to install proper ventilation systems.
- Failed to maintain or repair faulty installation systems.
- Didn’t provide adequate protective equipment like the correct grade of face masks.
- Didn’t take action after you raised concerns about your health.
- Failed to check if you suffered from any allergies.
There are many reasons why you might be entitled to compensation so don’t worry if there’s not an example here that matches your own situation. If you call our team for a free consultation, they’ll review your case with you and explain your options.
How to prove Occupational Asthma for your claim
As we explained earlier, you will need to prove how you got asthma, who was responsible and how you’ve suffered if your claim is going to be successful. This isn’t always easy but there are some steps you could take that may help. They include gathering proof such as:
- Medical notes. To be eligible to claim, you will need to have had your asthma diagnosed by a doctor. Their medical records and any test results could be used to prove that you’ve got asthma and how severe it is.
- Witness details. During the occupational asthma compensation claims process, your solicitor may need to ask others to provide a statement. For instance, your colleagues might be asked to confirm your working conditions. Similarly, your friends and family members might be asked to describe how your condition has affected you.
- Photographs or videos. To help prove how your working conditions have caused you to become ill, it’s a good idea to take pictures or videos on your phone.
- Letters and emails. If you told your employer about your health problems but they failed to act, any letters or emails you sent (or received) could be used as supporting evidence.
- Occupational health reports. Similarly, if your employer failed to act upon a report from an occupational health therapist, this report could also be referred to in your claim.
- A diary. After your condition has been diagnosed as occupational asthma, you might want to keep a diary. This could help you to explain how you’ve suffered because of the illness. For example, you could keep a note of the days you couldn’t work because of your illness. Similarly, you could record family events or social activities that you had to miss too.
There is a requirement in industrial disease claims for an independent medical report. As such, your solicitor will try to book a local appointment for you to see a medical expert. They will examine you and discuss how asthma has affected you. Once the meeting has finished, they’ll explain your injuries and prognosis in a report that will be forwarded to both parties in the claim.
Will I lose my job for claiming compensation against my employer?
We know that some people don’t claim for workplace accidents or illnesses because they’re worried about what their employer might say or do. However, you shouldn’t put off claiming compensation for occupational asthma because, legally, your employer is not allowed to discipline you, fire you or demote you for claiming. In fact, so long as your claim is legit, they should not treat you any differently at all.
In most cases, your employer would have very little to do with the claim as they’ll pass it to their insurer. If your case is taken on by one of our solicitors, they’ll manage all communication on your behalf as well. As such, once the claim is progressing, neither you nor your employer should have too much involvement.
If action were taken against you for claiming, there may be grounds for you to claim for constructive or unfair dismissal. This is something we can also help with. If you have any queries or concerns about making an occupational asthma claim, please get in touch.
Occupational Asthma claims time limits
All claims have a 3-year time limit in the UK. For most personal injury claims, this will usually start on the day you were injured. However, for occupational asthma, it might be many months or even years before your condition is diagnosed. In cases such as these, the time limit would generally start from the ‘date of knowledge, essentially the date your asthma was diagnosed and found to be caused by your occupation.
3-years isn’t a long time all so we’d suggest starting your claim as soon as you can. By doing so, your solicitor could request an interim payment to cover the cost of private medical treatment if your employer admits liability early on. Also, you’ll give them plenty of time to gather evidence to support your case.
No Win No Fee Occupational Asthma claims
It’s understandable that many claimants have concerns relating to solicitors fees. After all, nobody wants to lose money if their claim is unsuccessful. For that reason, one of our solicitors will provide a No Win No Fee service if your occupational asthma claim is taken on.
The type of No Win No Fee agreement they’ll use is called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is a contract shows that:
- No advance payment for your solicitor’s work is needed.
- You won’t pay solicitors fees if your claim fails.
- A success fee will be deducted from any compensation you receive.
The success fee is used to cover your solicitor’s costs and expenses if your claim is won. By law, it can be no more than 25% of your settlement amount when using a CFA. That means you can’t be overcharged for your solicitor’s work.
Claiming on a No Win No Fee basis will make the claims process much less stressful. To find out if you could benefit from the experience of one of our solicitors on this basis, why not call our team today?
Start an Occupational Asthma claim today
We hope that we’ve explained when occupational asthma claims might be possible. We also hope that you’d like to work with us if you are going to take action. Our team of claims advisors provide free legal advice and will review the merits of your case for free. You can call them on 0800 652 1345 to see if you’ve got a valid claim.
If your claim is accepted, we’ll connect you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors. During the claims process they will:
- Keep you informed about how your case is progressing.
- Answer any queries you might have.
- File the claim with your employer after collecting any supporting evidence.
- Handle all communication on your behalf.
- Deal with any queries or objections raised by your employer’s insurance company.
- Fight your corner to try and secure the maximum payment possible for your suffering.
You’ve reached the conclusion of this article on occupational asthma compensation claims, if you’ve got any additional questions, please use live chat or call the number above.