Retired window cleaner died of asbestos illness

A retired window cleaner died from an industrial disease, according to a recent report. Sidney Curtis, 90, died at his home in Sheringham on December 31 last year. The cause of his death was an asbestos illness; mesothelioma and ischemic heart disease.

At an inquest into his death held at Norfolk Coroner’s Court on Friday, March 26 an assistant coroner for Norfolk, said he was a retired owner of a window cleaning company. The court heard how Mr Curtis had gone to his GP in March 2020, complaining of chest pains that had first developed the previous year. Following a number of tests, Mr Curtis was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in April 2020.

In a statement, Lisa Harvey, Mr Curtis’ daughter said her family were not sure when her father had come into contact with asbestos, but it was most likely during his time in the cleaning industry.

Asbestos illness

Asbestos-Related Illness Claims

Asbestos was widely used in the UK as a building material from the 1940s until the 1980s. It was then banned. We now know that Asbestos is incredibly harmful to lung function. Working with asbestos without the right protection can lead to life-shortening illnesses. These include asbestosis, asbestos-induced lung cancer, mesothelioma and pleural thickening. If you or a loved one has an asbestos-related disease, then you may be able to claim.

Mesothelioma Related Illness Claims

Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive type of cancer. Little or intermittent exposure to asbestos fibres often causes it. Similarly to asbestosis, symptoms include:

  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • coughing
  • weight loss
  • loss of appetite.

The cause of virtually all cases of Mesothelioma is asbestos exposure.

All employers, past and present, owe their staff a duty of care to ensure their working environment is safe and staff are not at risk. You may be able to claim for an asbestos-related illness if you believe your employer failed in their duty of care. For example, if they did not provide you with the correct safety equipment. Another example is if they did not tell you the dangers associated with working with asbestos.

Asbestos-related illnesses take decades to form and often have a life-changing effect on all involved. The law surrounding asbestos illness claims is complex. Therefore, you should get solicitors that specialise in these types of claims.

How we can help with asbestos illness claims

Here at The Compensation Experts we work with a group of select legal firms who specialise in the law surrounding mesothelioma and other asbestos related claims. So contact us today by filling in our contact form. Or call us on 01614138765 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable advisors.

Asbestos and Lung Cancer

November is lung cancer awareness month here in the UK, and as we know, there is a link between Asbestos and lung cancer; working with Asbestos for a prolonged period can heighten the risk of developing the disease. A study in 2020 found that Asbestos is responsible for 37.5% of all occupational lung cancer cases.

It is more important than ever to go and see a doctor if you experience any of the symptoms of lung cancer. This is especially true if you have worked with Asbestos in the past.

Asbestos and Lung Cancer

In the past, the use of Asbestos was very common. However, we now know that it can cause serious illnesses. Asbestos and lung cancer are linked because of this fact, as lung cancer is one of the conditions that can develop after working with the substance.

Lung cancer from exposure to Asbestos can take years to develop. Many people with the disease do not start showing symptoms until at least 15 years after working with Asbestos. Because of this, many people think that it is too late to make a claim, but that is not always the case.

Examples of other conditions that exposure to Asbestos can cause include Asbestosis, mesothelioma, and pleural plaques.

Asbestosis

Asbestosis is a serious disease where the lung tissue hardens. It is a slowly progressive disease, usually taking between 15 and 30 years to develop. It is associated with long-term exposure to Asbestos fibres.

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer. The cause of this disease is exposure to Asbestos fibres. It develops in the lining of the lungs, and it most commonly affects men aged between 60 and 80. Unfortunately, it is rarely possible to cure the disease, treatment can usually only help control the symptoms.

Symptoms of Asbestos-Induced Lung Cancer

The symptoms of lung cancer caused by exposure to Asbestos are similar to the symptoms for lung cancer. These include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent cough
  • Chest pain
  • Sudden weight or appetite loss

If you develop any of these symptoms, it is best to go and see a doctor straight away, because the condition may be worse than you think.

Claiming on Behalf of Someone Else

Sadly, it is often the case that you may have to claim on behalf of a loved one. This is often the case with Asbestos-related claims, as the damage from Asbestos develops over many years. So, you may be able to make a claim on a loved one’s behalf if they have died or are unable to speak for themselves due to their illness being so far advanced.

If you are speaking on behalf of a loved one, and they were diagnosed with an Asbestos related condition in the last three years, then we may be able to help.

How We Can Help

Here at The Compensation Experts, we work with specialist solicitors who have years of experience dealing with several industrial disease claims. This includes Asbestos related lung cancer. Contact us today by filling in our contact form, or by calling us on 01614138765 to speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable advisors.

Getting A Diagnosis of Vibration White Finger

If you are suffering with symptoms of Vibration White Finger, also known as Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), you may think that there is no point in getting a diagnosis, as there is nothing that can be done to help. This is not always the case, as getting a diagnosis of Vibration White Finger can be vital if you wish to make a claim.

Some people have already had a diagnosis, some have not. If you fall into either of these categories, you may still be able to make a claim. At times, the symptoms for VWF do not appear until years after the person has left the job that causes the condition. This could affect whether they have had a diagnosis. Again, this may be something that we can help with.

Getting A Diagnosis of Vibration White Finger

If you have the symptoms of Vibration White Finger, then it is always best to go and see a Doctor. This can help with your peace of mind as well as with a potential claim. Once you have had a diagnosis, you then have three years from your date of diagnosis to make a claim.

In some cases, it is better for you to have not had a diagnosis, as the three-year limitation period does not start until the diagnosis. However, it is recommended that if you do wish to make a potential claim to go and see your doctor.

If you have not been diagnosed, then we may still be able to help. If your symptoms have started in the last three years, then you may be able to make a claim.

Causes and Symptoms of Vibration White Finger

The main symptom of VWF is a whiteness in the tip of one or more fingers. This can be on one hand or both. There are other symptoms which are associated with the condition. These symptoms include:

  • Tingling in the fingers or hands
  • Stiffness of joints
  • Numbness in the hands or fingers
  • Poor circulation
  • Coldness in the fingers

These symptoms may worsen when it is cold weather, but, since no two cases are the same, they also may not. Sometimes the symptoms do not appear until years after you have stopped doing the job where you were using the vibration tools.

The main cause of VWF is through continued use of vibratory equipment. This includes power tools. Many of the enquiries that we get are from people who have had a prolonged use of power tools. These tools can harm joints, nerves and blood vessels in the fingers and hand.

In some cases, you can trace the cause of VWF to a job you worked at decades ago. Many of the enquiries we receive for Vibration White Finger include jobs that people worked at years ago. It may even be the case that the company have since gone out of business. This does not necessarily matter, we may still be able to help.

If that is the case, you may think that there is no way you would be able to claim, but that is not always the case. If you have started experiencing the symptoms within the last three years, for example, then you may still be able to make a claim.

How We Can Help

Here at The Compensation Experts, we work with solicitors who have years of experience in dealing with claims. This includes claims for Vibration White Finger. Contact us today by filling in our contact form, or by calling us on 01614138765 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable advisors.

A Guide to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a debilitating condition caused by the compression of the median nerve within the wrist. Because of this, the condition is heavily linked with Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), although it should be said that the conditions are distinctly different.

In this guide, we wil outline the causes of CTS, how to treat it and how we can help if you have developed CTS due to your job.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel

CTS can be caused or exacerbated by repetitive movements. Therefore, you should try to avoid using your hands for unnecessary tasks at home and at work. For example, spending a long time on a computer using a keyboard or a tablet/smartphone at home will only make the condition worse.

High-risk job roles and tasks that should be avoided are ones that require you to work very fast in order to hit targets. Assembly lines, stock processing warehouses and heavy labour jobs in particular are common workplaces associated with the diagnosis of CTS.

We acknowledge that avoiding repetitive tasks at work can be difficult though. However, your employer is legally obliged to do everything they reasonably can to protect your physical well-being while you are at work. Furthermore, if you develop a condition or have a pre-existing condition, they have to make reasonable adjustments to your working environment and your duties in order to accommodate you.

You should inform your employer of your condition then and explain the situation. They should then support you in every way they can and carry out risk assessments on your workspace. You may be able to pursue a claim for compensation if your work has caused or exacerbated your condition.

The difference between Carpal Tunnel and Vibratory Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can also be brought on by the constant use of vibratory tools, such as pneumatic drills, chainsaws, and grinders. This is known as Vibratory Induced Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (VCTS). The symptoms are similar, but the cause of the condition is heavy vibration affecting the wrists and causing swelling which, in turn, puts pressure on the median nerve. In these cases, the cause of the condition is almost always due to the sufferer’s occupation as well as using the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) when operating tools.

Anyone who operates heavy hand tools, especially ones that emit high levels of vibration are at high risk of contracting VCTS and another condition known as Vibration White Finger.

Treatments for Carpal Tunnel

Corticosteroid injections are a possible form of treatment and can be provided by the NHS. This is a non-invasive treatment and does not require surgery. Other basic treatments can be simply applying a wrist splint to support your wrist on a daily basis.

Decompression or release surgery is also available on the NHS. As it is a surgical intervention, this procedure will not be considered by a medical professional unless the condition is very severe and other treatments have not worked though.

How can The Compensation Experts help?

If you have been affected by CTS or VCTS and believe it to be work-related The Compensation Experts can provide legal assistance and help you obtain compensation on a No Win No Fee basis. Our offices are open Monday–Friday 9 am–5 pm and our expert advisors are always on hand to discuss. If you are thinking about making a claim why not get in touch today for a brief, no-obligation chat today.

If you believe that your workplace environment or your tasks at work have caused CTS to develop, you should first speak to your employer to ask for reasonable adjustments to be made. If these do not occur, and you then develop the condition or your condition worsens, then your employer is liable and you may be able to claim compensation from them.

At The Compensation Experts, we work with specialist legal firms who have a proven track record in making successful industrial disease and workplace injury compensation claims. We and the legal firms we work with have a lot of experience in these cases and so, are well-placed to help you get the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. After your initial consultation with our advisors, which is done on a free no-obligation basis, we will match you with the firm who best suits the circumstances of your case.

If you decide to progress your claim, your solicitor will collect any evidence to help build the strongest possible case to support your claim. This evidence will be used not only to prove your entitlement to compensation but also to show the extent of your physical and financial suffering to ensure the amount you receive is fair.

Do not hesitate then to get in touch with us via the contact form on our website or by calling 0161 413 8765.

What should I do if I’ve suffered Repetitive Strain Injury at work?

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is an umbrella term for an increasingly common range of injuries that affect the hands and wrists and which are caused by prolonged and repeated movement. Initial symptoms may only initially appear while a certain action is being carried but may include aching, soreness or pain, stiffness, cramp, loss of strength in your hands, throbbing or numbness.

(Please note that RSI is a different condition to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which affects the same area.)

Symptoms will usually be mild initially and will not cause you too much concern. However, if left unchecked, these symptoms can gradually develop into severe, potentially constant pain and long-term health issues.

What causes RSI?

Repetitive strain injury is usually caused by damage to the tendons due to prolonged over-use. Poor posture, often related to inadequate working conditions, can also exacerbate tendon damage, leading to RSI. Other contributory factors include cold temperatures, often from working outside or if the office you work in isn’t heated sufficiently, as well as regular contact with vibrating machinery, which can also cause other industrial diseases like Vibration White Finger.

Who is at risk?

Anyone who carries out repetitive movements is potentially at risk from contracting RSI. Office workers who spend long periods of time tapping at computer keyboards often get RSI in their fingers and wrists. Factory workers who spend hours of every day assembling items or carrying out repetitive duties often contract RSI as a result of their work. Construction workers who work outside in cold temperatures, often with vibrating machinery such as drills are also at risk.

What to do if you think you might have RSI

The first step should always be to visit your doctor or GP, who will be able to tell you what steps you need to take to stop your condition worsening. As you will now have been officially diagnosed by a medical professional and this diagnosis will now be a part of your medical records, it also means that your employer will be required to act to help stop the condition getting worse as well.

Your employer’s duty

It should be said though that your employer has a legal duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and its subsequent updates to do everything reasonably possible to protect your physical well-being at work. This includes doing everything it reasonably can to prevent you form developing RSI in the first place. If you do then develop any kind of injury or disease, whether it has been caused by the workplace or not, your employer is also required to make reasonable adjustments so that you are able to continue working.

How we can help

If you believe that your workplace environment or your tasks at work increase the risk of you developing RSI, you should first speak to your employer to ask for reasonable adjustments to be made. If these do not occur, and you then develop the condition, then your employer is liable and you may be able to claim compensation from them.

At The Compensation Experts, we work with specialist legal firms who have a proven track record in making successful industrial disease and workplace injury compensation claims. We and the legal firms we work with have a lot of experience in these cases and so, are well-placed to help you get the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. After your initial consultation with our advisors, which is done on a free no-obligation basis, we will match you with the firm who best suits the circumstances of your case.

If you decide to progress your claim, your solicitor will collect any evidence to help build the strongest possible case to support your claim. This evidence will be used not only to prove your entitlement to compensation but also to show the extent of your physical and financial suffering to ensure the amount you receive is fair.

Do not hesitate then to get in touch with us via the contact form on our website or by calling 0161 413 8765.

Is it safe to use vaping products? What you need to know

You may have read some stories late last year about a spate of deaths across the United States linked to the use of vape pens.

The story has now taken an interesting turn, as The World Health Organisation (WHO) published new guidance on its website at the start of the week stating that it regards vaping to be harmful and even more dangerous than smoking cigarettes in some circumstances.

The vaping deaths in America

This new guidance may in part be due to the deaths in the United States where, to date, 60 people have died in the US as a result of lung injuries and vaping-related illnesses, with a further 2,668 cases of lung illnesses having been confirmed across the country. Alaska, in fact, is the only state not to have reported a case. Furthermore, two states – Massachusetts and New Jersey – have banned the sale of e-cigarette products.

Most patients have reported a history of using products containing THC – the psychoactive compound found in cannabis – while researchers from America’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC) now believe that vitamin E acetate, a chemical found in some THC vaping liquids, could be behind the illness and the scarring found in suffers’ lungs. The researchers from the CDC came to this conclusion after finding vitamin E acetate in all of the patient’s lung fluid samples they had tested. It should be noted though that, in many of these cases, the patient had been using THC-infused oil that had been purchased on the black market.

The situation in the UK

While this is certainly a cause for concern and the WHO’s guidance should be given serious consideration, it should be said that there have been no confirmed deaths linked to vaping in the UK. The NHS also continues to recommend vaping as a healthier alternative to the smoking of cigarettes, saying that “e-cigarettes aren’t completely risk-free but they carry a small fraction of the risk of cigarettes.”

However, it would be a good idea to keep an eye on this issue and be mindful of the cases in America, as there have been some cases in the UK where vaping has been cited as a possible cause. For example, as reported in The Independent in November last year, some doctors believe the death of 57-year-old British factory worker Terry Miller from lipoid pneumonia was linked to vaping after oil from an e-cigarette was found in his lungs, with the coroner returning an open verdict at the inquest after saying he could not be sure whether vaping was a contributory factor.

Furthermore, as reported in the British Medical Journal, doctors identified the cause as vegetable glycerine found in e-cigarettes last year after a 34-year-old woman was found to have developed lipoid pneumonia.

It is important to say though that the link between vaping and lipoid pneumonia is still disputed. As quoted in the same Independent article, Ann McNeill, Professor of Tobacco Addiction at King’s College London, said;

“The case of lipoid pneumonia was allegedly caused by glycerin in the vape liquid the patient was inhaling – but glycerin is water-soluble and an alcohol and not a lipid, so the glycerin is unlikely to cause lipoid pneumonia.”

Therefore, according to Professor McNeill, the 34-year-old woman’s case “doesn’t really add up” and so, it could not be concluded that her illness was caused by vaping a nicotine e-cigarette.

We will be keeping a close eye on this issue then. If it is found that the manufacturers of e-cigarettes and those who produce the numerous flavoured oils users smoke, knew of the risks to users’ lungs, then anyone who suffers, as a result, could have grounds to make a claim against those manufacturers and producers. If this does happen, we at The Compensation Experts will be well-placed to put sufferers in touch with the right solicitors as we have a lot of experience dealing with those who have suffered from lung-related illnesses and injuries, such as mesothelioma, occupational asthma or asbestos-related claims, due to medical or employer negligence.

For now…

…the risks to vapers in the UK are believed to be minimal. Do not worry or think that switching to cigarettes would be a better alternative. It certainly would not be.

In the meantime, until more research is done and more is known about the cases linked in vaping in America, it is worth remembering what we noted earlier; many of the cases in the US were ones in which the patient had bought THC-infused oil from black market sources. Therefore, to ensure your continued health (and also to ensure you stay on the correct side of the law), make sure you only buying vaping products from reputable legal sources.

Possible link between football and dementia show impact of industrial diseases

The possible link between football and dementia has been in the headlines again in recent days, with the news that the Scottish FA is considering putting a ban in place on under-12s heading the ball in football training.

Of course, this has been an issue for some time now. For example, Dawn Astle, the daughter of former West Brom striker and England international Jeff Astle, has campaigned tirelessly since his death in 2002 following a battle with dementia.

How football could be causing industrial diseases

The University of Glasgow also announced the findings of a study last year which showed that professional footballers are five times more likely to develop forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, than the rest of society.

Jeff Astle Gates
The Jeff Astle Gates at West Brom’s home ground, The Hawthorns.

Furthermore, the study by the University’s Brain Injury Group found that footballers are also four times more likely to develop motor neurone disease and twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s Disease.

Following the University of Glasgow’s findings, the University of East Anglia (UEA) will now be starting its own research project into the brain health of former footballers.

What particularly piqued our interest when considering these studies and the work that Dawn Astle has done since her father’s death is that, when ruling on the cause of Mr Astle’s death, the coroner recorded the death as being caused by ‘industrial disease’, says the following in his official ruling;

“Jeff Astle was a top footballer who was known for heading the ball … The trauma caused to the front of his brain is likely to have had a considerable effect on the cause of death.”

How clubs and The FA could be liable

A professional footballer is by definition someone who works for the football club they play for. As part of this employment, the worker is required to perfect their use of a piece of equipment – the football. This includes their ability to control and direct the piece of equipment with their head. As the University of Glasgow study, along with the coroner’s verdict into the cause of Mr Astle’s death, demonstrates though, there is a strong argument growing that this requirement is playing a significant role in these workers developing brain injuries compared to the rest of the general population.

Therefore, an argument could be made that, by requiring players to perfect the use of a piece of equipment that has arguably been shown to significantly increased the chances of their staff developing brain injuries later in life, football clubs and The Football Association (The FA) have failed to protect the health, safety and well-being of its workers per its obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act and other legislation related to the working environment.

It may be the case then that these studies and their findings lead to former players and their families making claims against their former clubs, along with bodies like The FA, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), the Premier League and The English Football League, for causing them to sustain a head injury due to the nature of the work. This argument is made stronger by the fact that, prior to the corner’s ruling into Mr Astle’s death, the PFA and the FA began joint research in 2001 which, over a 10-year period, would study the impact heading a football on the brain. Therefore, it could be said that both The FA and The PFA knew that heading a football could have an adverse effect on the brains of players. However, they did not take any precautionary measures while the possible link was being investigated.

If the findings of the UEA study support the findings of the University of Glasgow’s Brain Injury Group then, this could potentially put The FA and the PFA in a tricky spot for not taking action sooner when their commissioning of joint research in 2001 shows that they knew there could be an issue.

This also applies to all employers

The same is true of any employer – if an employer knows that there is a potential risk of a piece of equipment its employees are required to use causing any kind of industrial disease, but nothing is done to protect the employees from the potential of harm, that employer is liable if any of its employees then develops an industrial disease later in life.

Industrial diseases that affect the brain are particularly life-changing and can have a dramatic effect on both the sufferer. For example, prior to his health declining, Jeff Astle had made regular appearances on the BBC show Fantasy Football League due to his status as a cult footballing hero for West Brom; the club supported by the show’s co-presenter, Frank Skinner. However, this was not possible once Mr Astle became ill, as he was unable to look after himself and needed to be cared for, and so, could not continue with his post-footballing career running an industrial cleaning business and making media appearances, meaning that he also suffered loss of earnings as well as a loss in his quality of life.

Why this is relevant to you

The same is sadly true for many others who have sustained a head injury or who have a disease which affects the brain, such as dementia or motor neurone disease.

In turn, the injury or disease can also adversely affect those close to them suffering too. For example, family members often cannot afford the cost of around-the-clock care and so, instead have to take on the role of carer themselves. This can then lead to family members also suffering a loss of earnings too.

Therefore, when claims are brought against employers due to head injuries and industrial diseases affecting the brain that were a result of negligent working practices, the level of compensation awarded can be significant as it needs to take into account the physical, psychological and financial cost the injury or disease has caused in the form of General and Special Damages. This will include the cost to the sufferer’s family too.

How we can help

At The Compensation Experts, we work with specialist legal firms who have a proven track record in making successful head injury and industrial disease compensation claims. We and the legal firms we work with have a lot of experience in these cases and so, are well-placed to help you get the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. After your initial consultation with our advisors, which is done on a free no-obligation basis, we will match you with the firm who best suits the circumstances of your case.

If you decided to progress your claim, your solicitor will collect any evidence and may contact any witnesses to help build the strongest possible case to support your claim. This evidence will be used not only to prove your entitlement to compensation but also to show the extent of your physical, emotional and financial suffering to ensure the amount you receive is fair.

With the right legal support, the vast majority of industrial compensation claims are resolved without the need to go to court, saving you both money and time. If your employer refuses to accept liability or you can’t agree on an acceptable amount of compensation, the solicitor may recommend you submit your claim to court. This action needs to be taken within three years of the date of the injury being suffered or when your symptoms were linked to your job. Negotiations will continue even when a court date has been set, and it is not uncommon for an agreement to be reached hours before a claim is due to be heard in court.

If you or a family member have suffered a head injury at work or believe that a disease affecting the brain has developed due to the working environment you or your family member was in, you may be entitled to compensation.

Do not hesitate then to get in touch with us via the contact form on our website or by calling 0161 413 8765.

Suffered a workplace injury? Here’s how to make a compensation claim to your employer

If you’re suffered a workplace injury, the prospect of claiming compensation from your employer for any medical expenses you’ve incurred along with such things as the loss of earnings you incurred while away from work recuperating or being treated can be very daunting.

The physical, emotional and financial costs of suffering a workplace injury can be significant and life-changing though. You cannot be expected to bear that cost, particularly when your employer has a duty to protect you when you are working for them per the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974. This includes protecting you from physical harm as well as protecting your mental health. Your employer is also liable if you are assaulted, harassed or bullied while working for them too, although these cases can be very difficult to prove.

In the first instance, you should speak to your employer informally and see if it is possible to resolve the matter amicably by them covering any costs you have incurred. On this, as Citizens Advice rightly points out, depending upon the details of your Contract of Employment, you may be entitled to full contractual sick pay to cover any loss of earnings while you are away from work due to injury too.

However, if you have suffered any kind of workplace injury and your employer is unwilling to cover the costs, you should consider making a claim.

Before making a claim…

You should do the following;

  • Make a note of exactly what happened. For example, the time, date and place that the injury occurred. If the claim is as a result of you suffering an industrial injury that became apparent over time, such as Repetitive Strain Injury or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, we realise it can be difficult to remember the exact dates you started to use machinery or other equipment that caused the injury. In this situation, do your best to remember the approximate dates – month and year, for example. Furthermore, make a note of anyone who witnessed you suffering the injury and ensure you have contact details for them. On this, it is a good idea to have a personal telephone number or email address for them rather than their work contact details.
  • Collect as much evidence as you can. For example, photographs of the hazard that caused the injury and how the scene looked at the time, as well as photographs of any physical injuries you sustained. This is particularly pertinent if you have slipped on a wet floor and no warning signage had not been put out, for example.
  • Visit your GP as soon as you can after sustaining the injury – not only can they treat your injury or refer you to a specialist if needed if the care needed is non-urgent, but they can also record the details of your injury and the severity of it in your medical records. Of course, if you need urgent care after suffering a workplace injury, you should visit A&E, where the details and severity of your injury would also be recorded.

It is also important to check your Contract of Employment before making a claim too, as it should contain a section on workplace disputes and the company’s policy for resolving them. We highlight this, as your employer may argue that any claims you look to make as a result of a workplace injury would constitute a ‘dispute’. For example, it may be that your employer’s policy is that any disputes have to be resolved through mandatory arbitration. You should seek legal advice before making any workplace injury claim, but, if arbitration is mandated, it is particularly important that you seek legal advice before entering arbitration, as the result of an arbitration hearing is legally binding and it is unlikely that you would be able to appeal the decision.

How we can help

At The Compensation Experts, we work with specialist legal firms who have a proven track record in successful workplace injury compensation claims. Initially, one of our advisors with have a chat with you, asking you for the details of how you came to be injured. Once this is done, they will advise you whether you may have grounds for a successful claim. As a part of this, we might also obtain medical and industry expert reports to help determine the strength of your case. This is all done on a free no-obligation basis. If it is felt you may have a successful claim, we will then match you with the firm who best suits the circumstances of your case.

What your solicitor will do

If you do then decide to proceed with a case against your employer, the solicitor working on your case will contact any witnesses and will collect as much evidence from you and other sources as possible. This is to help them build the strongest possible case to support your claim. Any witnesses should not be concerned about having to speak out publicly though, as it may be that the other evidence is enough to prove the case.

This evidence and any witness statements will be used not only to prove your entitlement to compensation but also to show how you have been affected physically, emotionally and financially as a result of being injured in the workplace. In turn, this will mean the amount you receive is fair and reflects the severity of the injury you sustained. It should also be said that the majority of workplace injury claims are usually settled without the need to go to court too.

How your employer will respond

Once they has looked through the details of your case and carried out their investigation, your employer’s insurance company will either make a compensation offer or will deny that they are liable. You should be aware that offers at this stage are usually lower than they should be. The solicitor’s role is to advise you how good the offer is and if you choose not to accept it, negotiate with the other side to arrive at an acceptable level of compensation.

If the employer refuses to accept liability or you can’t agree on an acceptable amount of compensation, your solicitor may recommend you submit your claim to court. This action needs to be taken within three years of the date of the injury being suffered or when your symptoms were linked to your job. Negotiations will continue even when a court date has been set, and it is not uncommon for an agreement to be reached hours before a claim is due to be heard in court.

How workplace injury compensation is decided

Levels of compensation decided by the courts are not plucked out of thin air either. They are calculated by looking at General and Special Damages;

  • General Damages consider the physical and psychological wounds you have suffered, as well as what the likelihood of recovery is. Additionally, General Damages would also include the wages you have lost while recovering from the injury.
  • Special Damages, meanwhile, consider any financial expense caused by your injury, including the cost of prescriptions, private medical care and any additional nursing or care support you have needed. You will need to prove you have incurred these costs though, so make sure you keep all your receipts. If you are not sure whether an expense is covered under Special Damages, ask your solicitor before spending the money. In addition, Special Damages may also include compensation for future lost earnings if the injury is so severe you are unable to continue working in the same role.

According to the latest figures for 2018/19 released by the Health and Safety Executive late last year, 1.4 million working people in the UK are suffering from a work-related illness, with 69,208 injuries to employees being reported in the last year. Clearly then, workplace accidents and industrial injuries are unfortunately far more commonplace than they should be. This means we and the legal firms we work with have a lot of experience in these cases and so, are well-placed to help you get the maximum amount of compensation.

If you have suffered a workplace injury, do not hesitate to get in touch with us via our website or by calling 0161 413 8765.

Seasonal Industrial Injury Claims: What to Do?

It’s that time of year again when employers begin to recruit seasonal staff to cover the busy Christmas and New Year period. However, we tend to think of it as seasonal industrial injury season, due to the influx of new workers in a pacey atmosphere.

In particular, large-scale dispatch centres operated by the likes of Amazon and Hermes will be taking on additional staff. Their goal is to cope with the rise of demand in the run-up to Christmas. Especially as people order presents for, and send packages to, friends and relatives.

Those who live close to a large dispatch centre or warehouse are surely well aware of this. You may have seen adverts in your local area looking for warehouse operatives, delivery drivers and the like.

Regular versus Seasonal Industrial Injury Rights

Indeed, there are differences between the range of employment rights for full-time employees of a company. Especially depending upon their length of service and those granted to temporary seasonal staff, industrial and workplace safety legislation, such as the Health and Safety at Work Act, protect everyone in a workplace regardless of their employment status.

Put simply, it is against the law for your employer not to follow the legislation. Therefore, ignorance of their obligations towards employees is not an excuse.

As a result, employers take on additional staff to cover seasonal demand during busy periods. But it’s absolutely imperative they ensure these temporary staff members still receive full training. Especially if they use any machinery as part of the role. Moreover, the employer must ensure employees are fully aware of all workplace health and safety processes.

Working in warehouse and factory environments can be particularly dangerous and fraught with potential health and safety hazards. These workplaces can be noisy, and they also feature-heavy industrial machinery.

Moreover, there’s also the issue of pace in these working atmospheres. In short, they engender a work environment that’s particularly fast. In essence, there are multiple people moving around on a regular basis, some of whom could be driving fork-lift trucks, too.

Typical examples of industrial injuries

In essence, examples of season industrial injuries can include the following.

  • Electric shock;
  • Eye injuries;
  • Head and brain injuries;
  • Fractured bones and dislocated joints;
  • Back and spinal damage;
  • Muscle strain;
  • Slips, trips, and falls;
  • Falls from height;
  • Exposure to dangerous substances, and;
  • Chemical burns.

Truly, it’s your responsibility to ensure you operate any machinery as you have been trained and in a safe and responsible manner. However, the employer has a responsibility to make sure you:

  • receive that training;
  • fully understand it and;
  • are capable of carrying out your tasks accordingly.

Therefore, if you do suffer an industrial injury while working in a seasonal role; and we can prove that your employer fails in their responsibilities; you can pursue compensation.

Turn to a seasonal industrial injury law specialist

Specifically, seasonal industrial injury claims are a specialist area of personal injury law. It’s also worth knowing that the damage from an industrial injury may not be clear until years after. For example, the development of industrial deafness or an asbestos-related disease can take a long time to become apparent.

At The Compensation Experts, we work with specialist law firms with a proven track record in industrial injury compensation claims. After your initial free consultation with our advisors, we’ll match you with the firm who suits your case best.

With your own specialist solicitor working on your case, you’ve got a partner. That means a fully dedicated service with a commitment to your unique seasonal industrial injury claim.

Obtaining Experts Reports for Seasonal Industrial Injury Claims

As experts, the solicitors we collaborate with also know that there is always a wealth of areas to cover. From medical specialists to the industrial line of work you’re in, it’s always wise to tap that knowledge for your case. Accordingly, we seek to strengthen your case with their expert testimony.

We’ll also obtain medical and industry expert reports if needed to help advise you on the strength of your case. If you do then decide to progress your case, your solicitor will commence with putting your case together.

  • They collect any and all evidence;
  • If possible, contact any available witnesses, and;
  • We’ll also go over the case with you regularly, especially when it comes to new information.

We do all of this in order to help us build the strongest possible case for your compensation claim to succeed. This evidence aims to do several things to ensure the amount you receive is fair.

  • Prove your entitlement to compensation, and also;
  • Show the extent of your physical, emotional and financial suffering.

Next, they look through your claim request and carry out their investigation. Then, your employer’s insurance company will either make an offer of compensation or will deny liability. Please be aware that offers at this stage are usually low. Especially if you compare them with the results of other recent settlements.

The solicitor’s role is to advise you how good the offer is. Then, if you don’t accept it, negotiate with the other side to find an acceptable level of compensation.

Seasonal industrial injury claims are on the rise.

What kind of compensation amounts are we talking about here?

Compensation amounts are not plucked out of thin air. They are calculated by looking at General and Special Damages.

General Damages account for the physical or psychological trauma you suffer, including your prognosis for recovery. Additionally, they will also include the wages you have lost while recovering from an injury.

Special Damages, meanwhile, account for any financial expense caused by your accident. This can include

  • Paying for prescriptions;
  • Obtaining reasonable private medical care, and;
  • Costs for any additional nursing or care.

You’ll need to prove that you incur all these costs too, so be sure you keep all your receipts.

But if you’re not sure if Special Damages covers an expense, ask your solicitor. In addition, Special Damages may include compensation for future lost earnings. Particularly if the injury you suffer is so severe you are unable to continue working in the same role.

With the right legal support, most industrial compensation claims find a resolution – all without the need to go to court. As a result, you’ll be able to save yourself both money and time through negotiation.

But your employer might refuse to accept liability, or you can’t agree on an acceptable amount of compensation. If so, the solicitor may recommend you submit your claim to court.

This action needs to happen within three years of the date of the injury*.

Negotiations will continue even when they set a court date has been set. Accordingly, it’s common to reach an agreement hours before the court hears the merits of the claim.

Illness claims over 1 million workers a year

The latest figures for 2018/19 from by the Health and Safety Executive paint a telling picture about the claim. In all, 1.4 million working people in the UK suffer from a workplace illness. In addition, the report lists 69,208 injuries to employees n the last year.

Clearly then, workplace accidents and industrial injuries are unfortunately far more commonplace than they should be. Because of this, we and the legal firms we work with have a lot of experience in these cases.

In short, we’re capable of helping you get the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.

If you have suffered an industrial injury, do not hesitate to get in touch with us via our website or by calling 0161 413 8765.

*Also, when they definitively determine that the blame for your symptoms falls on your job.

6 Safety Practices All Industrial Workplaces Should Follow

Industrial WorkplaceOver the last four decades, cases of workplace accidents and deaths have seen a significant drop. This is largely due to improvements in health and safety guidelines, as well as an intense focus on safety practices by organisations.

In an industrial setting, worker safety is of paramount importance, as the variety of large, complex, and potentially dangerous machinery and practices is significantly higher than office environments. There are some key safety practices that should be adhered to by any industrial workplace, as these will help to reduce the potential for having to pay out any industrial injury compensation.

If you want to make your workplace safer, then here are the six safety practices to focus on.

1: Identify Likely Issues – There are going to be some areas of your industrial workplace that are more high risk than others. Make sure that these are looked at with the intention of minimising risk. Pay special care to identify the small injuries that may be more common and easily avoidable.

2: Involve Employees – By getting your workforce involved in any safety planning you will be able to benefit from their ground-floor experience. You will also make it easier for those employees to be more aware of potential issues and reduce your vulnerability to industrial injuries compensation.

3: Signage – You want your team to have visible and easy-to-understand signage that highlights potential dangers. These may need to be reviewed on a regular basis.

4: Stay Tidy – Make it a priority to ensure that there is nothing in the workplace that doesn’t need to be there. Clutter can be one of the main causes of workplace injury, and by removing the unnecessary, you will also promote greater productivity.

5: Machinery Maintenance – Industrial workplaces usually have an abundance of complicated and heavy machinery. Allocating regular times to clean and check them for problems means that you are tackling issues before they result in an industrial injury compensation payment.

6: Review your Safety Guidelines – This needs to be done at least once every year. Inspect your entire workplace alongside your team. Conduct a thorough review and update your safety guidelines where you identify new risks or issues.

Knowing the Risks

Some of the most common injuries in an industrial workplace will require awareness if your goal is to reduce your exposure to injuries. Some of the most common workplace injuries in the industrial sector include:

  • Falls
  • Falling materials or objects
  • Breathing issues
  • Injuries caused by vehicles
  • Electrical accidents including electrocution
  • Accidents involving ladders
  • Machinery accidents

The key to keeping your instances of workplace injury to a minimum are staff training, diligence, and essential safety equipment.

Workplace injuries can drastically affect the lives and futures of your workers. From a business owners perspective, accidents in the workplace can interrupt workflow and negatively affect profit generation, as well as exposing you to the financial risks of a high industrial injuries compensation payment. If you want to limit your exposure to these risks, then creating a culture of safety in your industrial workplace is essential.

Hearing Loss: What Are My Rights?

Hearing LossEveryone reacts differently when it comes to a change in their ability to hear. The emotional response can lead to anger and vulnerability. Knowing your rights if you suffer from any form of hearing loss can help you when it comes to making a case for hearing loss compensation.

There are practical steps that you should take that will not only help you understand the causes of what’s happening with your hearing but also let you know how likely your case is for hearing loss claims. The earlier that you address your hearing loss, the easier the problems can be tackled, and knowing your rights will be the key to living with your hearing issues.

Medical Treatment

Your first step once you have identified an issue with your hearing should be to seek professional treatment. Take a hearing test, and make sure that it is in person. There are a variety of online hearing tests available, but these are unreliable and should only be used to clarify that you have an issue. Professional medical treatment will make any hearing loss claims easier to resolve.

Workplace Hearing Loss

There are some work roles that are more vulnerable to the risks of hearing loss. These roles are often consistently loud work environments, and include:

  • Sound engineers
  • Mining
  • Shipyards
  • Construction

However, nightclub workers and other roles that tend to take place in environments that are loud can cause hearing damage. If your workplace has affected your hearing, then you will have three years to make your hearing loss claim.

Date of Knowledge

This is a term that covers most medical compensation claims. The Date of Knowledge will usually be three years after the date that you were exposed to the noise that caused your hearing loss, although there are factors that may be taken into account if you have taken longer than three years to make your hearing loss claims. Date of Knowledge can also be counted as the date on which you discover that you have a hearing impairment.

Employer Liability

All employers have a duty of care, and that covers the volume of noise that workers are exposed to. Health and Safety legislation sets clear guidelines and rules for noise volume under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005. This piece of legislation was designed to protect the hearing health of employees. If your employer has not conducted a thorough assessment of noise volume in your workplace then you will be able to make a claim for hearing loss compensation. The measures that employers must take in loud work environments must include:

  • The installation of sound barriers
  • The use of materials that will absorb sound
  • Shorter work time exposure to loud working environments
  • The provision of protective equipment for those employees that work consistently or intermittently in loud

If your employer has not adopted these measure, then you may be entitled to apply for hearing loss compensation.

There are clear legal rights that are in place to protect the hearing of employees. If you feel that you have suffered from hearing loss as a result of workplace flaws, then you should contact a legal team as quickly as possible. The quicker that you take action, the easier hearing loss claims will be. Hearing loss can be stressful, and any financial compensation that you receive could help to pay medical expenses or remove the pressures caused by your hearing issues.