Sometimes the work that you do or the environment in which you are required to work may make you unwell. In most cases if the symptoms of work related illness are recognised early enough, treated and preventative measures taken then the chance of permanent damage to your health or quality of life is reduced.
There are a variety of health problems that can be the result of work related illness.
Hearing loss or industrial deafness
Work Related Hearing loss or industrial deafness may be temporary or permanent and includes conditions such as tinnitus and acoustic shock syndrome. If the symptoms of industrial deafness are found early enough, treated and preventative measures taken to reduce noise in the workplace there will be less chance of permanent hearing damage to hearing. If you have any concerns or suspect your hearing may have been damaged at work the sensible first step is to have your hearing tested. At Stonehewer Moss we can offer a free hearing test and advice on whether your hearing problems are the result of work related hearing loss or industrial deafness.
Work related skin problems
Work related skin problems such as dermatitis or Eczema can make skin inflamed, itchy and red. Such skin conditions are usually caused by an irritant that damages the skin or an allergen that triggers an immune response. Exposure to chemicals or substances at work can often be the cause of the condition or make it worse.
Exposure to Hazardous Substances
Industrial illnesses can be caused by exposure to hazardous substances or poisoning. Unfortunately, it is quite common for people to develop an illness or disease after coming into contact with a harmful substance in their workplace.
Hand-arm Vibration Syndrome or Vibration White Finger
Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) used to be called vibration white finger. It is a condition that develops as a result of using vibrating tools. Symptoms of hand-arm vibration syndrome start with changes in sensation leading to numbness of fingers, muscle weakness and, in some cases, bouts of white finger and Raynaud’s phenomenon.
Work Related Back Pain & Repetitive Strain Injuries
Back pain is the second most common cause of long-term sickness in the UK after stress. In the workplace this can be caused by strained muscles or ligaments, wear and tear, bad posture and stress and can lead to musculoskeletal injuries. As well as the back, shoulders, arms, wrists and knees are also commonly affected.
Work Related Stress
Well-designed, organised and managed work is good for us but when insufficient attention to job design, work organisation and management has taken place, it can result in work related stress. Work related stress develops because a person is unable to cope with the demands being placed on them. Stress, including work related stress, can be a significant cause of illness and is known to be linked with high levels of sickness absence, staff turnover and other issues such as more errors.
Who is responsible for your Industrial Illness or Work Related Disease
Your employer is responsible for protecting you from hazardous substances and hazardous situations whilst you are in work. It is their duty to minimise the risks of you developing an Industrial Illness or Industrial Disease.For example, if your working environment is very noisy, it is your employer’s duty to reduce the noise to an acceptable level or, if this is not possible, to provide you with ear defenders to prevent Industrial Deafness or Noise Induced Hearing Loss. As long as your employer provides you with these ear defenders, it is your responsibility to wear them.
If you are working with chemicals your employer should have investigated the possibility of replacing dangerous chemicals with less harmful ones and ensured that you have the minimal amount of contact with them as possible. If your employer has concluded that there is no way around you working with the dangerous chemicals or hazardous substances then they should provide you with suitable protective clothing and equipment to wear such as safety glasses or goggles or gloves. It is your responsibility to wear the protective clothing once it has been provided.
How We Can Help
If you or someone you know has an illness, condition or disease caused or made worse by your work or your working environment and you think your employer is at fault, you may want to make a claim for compensation. Compensation claims can cover:
- Your pain and suffering
- Any loss of earnings
- Specialist care and rehabilitation
As one of the leading specialist personal injury solicitors in Cheshire Stonehewer Moss are a local friendly firm with specialist knowledge and experience. We can guide and support you through the process of securing the work related illness compensation that you are entitled to.