At Thomas Dunton, the aim of our specialist Personal Injury team is to gain maximum compensation for the victims of asbestosis and other industrial diseases within the minimum amount of time possible.

As with all our Personal injury cases, we offer a free one hour face-to-face interview with a specialist lawyer, not, as with many national law firms, a phone call to an advisor at a call centre. After the meeting there will be no obligation to use our services.

Asbestosis

Asbestosis is a chronic (long-term) lung condition caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. This was used in the past by the construction industry, because it did not burn and therefore provided fire protection and was used as a form of insulation. By breathing in the asbestos dust, the lungs can be scarred, which can lead to shortness of breath and coughing.

30 years to develop

People who are being diagnosed now with asbestosis have typically had substantial exposure to asbestos at some time between the 1950s and 1980s as it takes on average 30 years for asbestos related diseases to develop after exposure.

The ship building industry since the 1950s routinely used asbestos as insulating material. Anyone working in the vicinity could have been affected by asbestos dust even if they were not handling it themselves. Wives and children have brought successful claims as a result of coming into contact with asbestos dust that had settled on the workers’ overalls

Types of asbestos

There are three main types of asbestos:

  • Crocidolite – blue asbestos – banned in the 1980s but no imports after 1970
  • Amosite – brown asbestos — banned in the 1980s
  • Chrysotile – white asbestos – banned in 1999

There are still large amounts of asbestos in use throughout the UK and the rest of the world.

Symptoms of Asbestosis

Asbestosis means the lung tissue has become scarred due to previous asbestos exposure. Pleural plaques or pleural thickening caused by asbestos is a different condition where the membrane that covers the lungs (pleura) is damaged by asbestos, but the lungs themselves are unharmed.

By breathing in the asbestos dust, the lungs can be scarred, which can lead to shortness of breath and coughing.

The symptoms do not usually begin until many years after the initial exposure to asbestos and may not become apparent for 15 to 30 years. You should immediately visit your doctor if any symptoms become apparent.

Claiming compensation for Asbestosis or an associated condition

If it can be proven that you were exposed to asbestos due to someone else’s fault and you have gone on to develop asbestosis or pleural thickening, then you may be able to make a personal injury claim for compensation, even if your original employers have ceased trading. Please contact a lawyer at the earliest opportunity because of legal time limits.

At Thomas Dunton we offer a free initial interview to discuss the merits of your case. Please click here for more information regarding our services and funding options (including “No Win, No Fee”).

Occupational Asthma

Occupational Asthma caused by the airways to the lungs becoming narrower and inflamed due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The product that causes these symptoms is known as a “trigger”.

Asthma at work can be caused by one of over 400 identified substances that are classed as having asthmogenic or allergenic properties. Breathing in dust, gases, fumes or vapours can sometimes trigger an attack.

Asthma can affect people in different ways but common symptoms are:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Wheezing and coughing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Shortness of breath

The following occupations have a high rate of occupational asthma:

  • Bakers
  • Motor vehicle body spray painters
  • Woodworkers (from dust and cellulose)
  • Healthcare workers
  • Workers in animal laboratories
  • Agricultural workers
  • Engineering workers

If you believe that you have suffered Occupational Asthma through your working environment, it is important that you consult a lawyer about compensation for any detrimental effects that it has made to your life – medically, financially and socially.

At Thomas Dunton we offer a free initial interview to discuss the merits of your case. Please click here for more information regarding our services and funding options (including “No Win, No Fee”).

Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Damage to the sensitive hair cells within the ear reduces our ability to hear sounds. Loud noises over a continuous period or even a one off experience of extreme sound, can do permanent damage.

Some industries are more likely than others to provide the noisy environment that causes damage. Examples include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Metal foundries
  • Building & Construction
  • Printing
  • Engineering
  • Shipbuilding
  • Factories

It is not necessary for you to be using the noisy machinery yourself to have your hearing impaired.

The dangers of loud noise were highlighted in the 1960s and guidelines concerning noise levels were brought in by the Government in 1972. In 2005, The Control Noise at work Regulations were brought in to advise employers on how to try and reduce exposure to high levels of noise in the workplace. Failure to implement these guidelines leave the employer open to claims against them for industrial injury.

Symptoms

The main symptoms are:

  • Sudden or premature gradual loss of hearing
  • Tinnitus – a constant buzzing sound
  • Ringing sounds within the ear

Tinnitus or a temporary loss of hearing may herald long term problems and you should seek medical advice immediately.

Claiming for compensation

Having reduced hearing can have an impact on your life but not all hearing problems are due to a noisy workplace. However, if you believe that problems with your hearing have been caused directly by working in an excessively noisy environment, you may be able to claim compensation against your employer, whether current or previous, who placed you in that situation.

Proving that the conditions within the workplace led directly to your hearing problems can be difficult to prove. You will need to speak to a specialist personal Injury lawyer, and at Thomas Dunton we have the experience and expertise that you will require.

Please click here for more information about our Personal Injury services and about funding your claim (including “No Win, No Fee”).

RSI (Repetitive Strain injury)

Repetitive Strain injury (RSI) is a general term given to describe the pain felt in muscles, nerves and tendons caused by repeated movements and overuse.

It is also called “Work related upper limb disorder” with the condition affecting mostly parts of the upper body including the elbow, wrist, hands, forearm, neck and shoulders.

Medical conditions that may be forms of RSI include:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Epicondylitis (tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow)
  • Tenosynovitis
  • De quervain’s Syndrome/ De quervain’s Tenosynovitis/Tenovaginitis
  • Stenosing Tenosynovitis

These conditions are common even amongst those who do not do repetitive work but the condition can be worsened by working in an inappropriate environment.

There is an increased likelihood of RSI, if the following work is done:

  • A repetitive action (especially if done at speed) without rest
  • Poor posture or working in an awkward position or working above head height
  • Lifting heavy weights or having to use force
  • Working without taking sufficient breaks
  • Stress and cold temperatures

 

Symptoms can vary but include:

  • Pain or tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Cramp

If you notice these symptoms and feel that they may be work related, you should speak to your employer about ways to relieve the symptoms. They have a legal duty to prevent work-related RSI, and ensure your work area and tasks are suitable and comfortable for you.

You must also do all you can to reduce the risks of RSI including maintaining a good posture and taking regular breaks. If however, the symptoms persist, you should consult your doctor.

If you believe that you have suffered RSI through the nature of your work, it is important that you consult a lawyer about compensation for any detrimental effects that it has made to your life – medically, financially and socially.

 

What Thomas Dunton can do for you

At Thomas Dunton we have a dedicated team of specialist Personal Injury lawyers ready to help you.

Please click here to view 10 reasons why Thomas Dunton are ideally suited to represent you including full details of our free one hour interview where we can discuss you case, without obligation, and advise you on the best course of action to take.

For more information or to book your free appointment, please call 01689 822554 or Freephone 0800 146340. Alternatively, please complete the enquiry form on this page and we will respond within 24 hours.
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