Hazardous Substance Exposure Claims
Many businesses make use substances in the workplace which have the potential to be hazardous to the health of employees. The processes that businesses use can also create hazardous substances and exposure can have severe detrimental effects on a person’s health. Employers are legally required to carry out thorough risk assessments to recognise any potential risks in their environment and in turn, make adequate provisions for the protection of staff.
If you have suffered an injury or illness due to the exposure of hazardous substances in the workplace, you may have a valid claim for personal injury compensation.
To find out if you are eligible to pursue a claim, contact a solicitor today for a free case assessment. They can let you know within minutes if you are entitled to compensation, as well as answer any questions or concerns you may have about the process.
What substances are hazardous to health?
Many different types of substances can have a detrimental impact on a person’s health and they can be found in a range of work environments. Solicitors are experienced in processing claims of varying severity and for a host of different substance exposure. Some of the most common hazardous substances that they process compensation claims for include injury caused by:
- Pesticides and weed killers
- Vapours and mists
- Germs from biological agents
- Germs from substances used in laboratories
Exposure to these substances can occur because of the demands of your job, the working environment, failure of external companies to maintain safe disposal or unavoidable dealings with the products of nearby machinery or processes. Whatever the cause of your exposure to a hazardous substance, your solicitor will welcome the opportunity to discuss your case to determine how they can support you in securing the compensation you are owed.
What illnesses can be caused by exposure to hazardous substances?
The solicitors we work in partnership with have extensive experience in supporting victims of hazardous substance exposure to achieve the highest compensation awards possible. They have worked with clients who have suffered exposure in a vast array of situations and whose symptoms greatly vary in severity. Some of the most common symptoms and illnesses that are presented to personal injury solicitors as a result of exposure to hazardous substances include:
- Pesticide poisoning
- Passive smoking related illnesses
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Teflon fumes exposure
- Arsenic poisoning
- Lead poisoning
- Food poisoning
- Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) poisoning
- Radiation illnesses
- Leptospirosis and Weil’s Disease
- Trichloroethylene (TCE) a.k.a. ‘trike’ poisoning
This is not an exhaustive list, so if you have suffered a different illness or other symptoms caused by the negligent exposure to dangerous substances, you may still have a valid claim against your employer.
Am I eligible to make a hazardous substances claim?
If your employer has failed in their legal duty of care by not providing you with a safe working environment, and this failure has resulted in illness, injury or harm to you, you should be eligible to make a work accident claim for compensation.
The exposure to hazardous substances is not limited to workplace cases. Innocent parties can be exposed to these dangers following industrial disasters or the illegal disposing of toxic waste. Those exposed to these substances can suffer severe illness, and the results can even be fatal. The ‘Strategy for hazardous waste management in England’ (2010) outlines the guidelines for hazardous waste management and disposal for those producing the waste. The legislation that governs this strategy is The European Hazardous Waste Directive. If you have suffered an illness or suffering because of hazardous waste and it can be proven that another party was liable for the harm caused, you should contact a solicitor to discuss your legal right to make a claim for compensation.
What legislation is in place to offer protection against hazardous substances?
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002 provides guidelines and advice on the control of substances that can have dangerous effects on people. COSHH is the law that governs employers need to control substances that can be hazardous to health. The legislation offers guidance to help prevent or reduce the risk to workers by encouraging employers to:
- Recognise what health hazards are present in the work environment
- Decide how to prevent risks and harm to the health of employees through risk assessments
- Provide control measures to minimise risk and make sure the measures are implemented
- Maintaining control measures and reviewing procedures
- Providing information, training and instruction to employees
- Providing monitoring and health surveillance where necessary
- Making adequate plans for emergencies
How much compensation will I be awarded?
The amount of compensation that is awarded to you will depend upon the severity of your case and the losses and level of harm caused to you. To secure the highest settlement figure, your solicitor will need to demonstrate the liability of the defendant as well as prove the extent of the illnesses and losses sustained.
Compensation payments will not only cover the physical impact of your illness but can also include emotional distress, loss of earnings to date and in the future, the cost of treatment, travel expenses and any related financial losses. When building your case, your solicitor will thoroughly review all areas of suffering and damage to ensure that you are awarded a fair and maximum compensation amount.