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Asbestosis Compensation Claim: How to show an employer is legally responsible to pay your UK work asbestos respiratory injury claim

Asbestosis compensation claim: discover a simple guide to the laws in the United Kingdom used to determine your employer's legal responsibility for your industrial disease claim - including the importance of your employer's state of knowledge of how dangerous a material is as well as how to make a claim against more than one employer.

When is your employer legally responsible for your asbestosis compensation claim?

The process to determine legal responsibility of your employer for your industrial disease claim, such as asbestosis, is similar to that used to decide responsibility for any other dust related lung disease at work.

Click asbestos compensation claim for a description of asbestosis.

Asbestosis compensation claim

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When industry first manufactures a new material it follows a learning process as to its safety - as time goes by your employer develops an increased understanding of any safety risks to employees known as his "state of knowledge".

Using asbestos as an example your employer's "state of knowledge" follows this path:

1. No suspicion

Before asbestos was manufactured it was tested. At first no harm to workers was suspected and asbestos was generally accepted to be a miracle substance: strong, able to resist heat and chemical attack.

If you develop lung disease at this stage - it is unlikely that your employer is legally responsible for your asbestosis claim.

2. Large employer's start to realise a risk to the health and safety of workers

A large employer has many workers exposed to asbestos and as time goes by he will record data on their health. Trends can be spotted showing that employees begin to show symptoms of illness over certain periods of time. It may well show that workers exposed to more asbestos dust develop these symptoms faster than others.

A large employer should now take steps to stop your exposure at work to asbestos dust - if these steps are not taken and you develop a lung disease it is likely that large employers will be legally responsible for your asbestosis compensation claim.

3. Small employer's become aware of the risk to the occupational health of their workers

Once large employers become aware of the risk of health to employees eventually this knowledge reaches smaller employers who also start to recognize symptoms amongst their work force.

All employers, both large and small, should now take steps to stop your exposure at work to asbestos dust - if these steps are not taken and you develop a lung disease it is likely that your employer will be legally responsible for your asbestosis compensation claim.

4. Once the knowledge is in the public domain and accepted as fact - laws will be made by government to protect employees from the danger of a substance.

At this stage if your employer does not follow the law to protect you from exposure to asbestos your asbestosis compensation claim has its best chances of succeeding.

The initial symptoms of lung disease from exposure to asbestos can take many years to be detected, but do not let this stop you from making an asbestosis compensation claim as soon as symptoms are detected.

Once your employer is aware of the danger of dust inhalation of certain materials what laws apply in the UK?

Once the danger of dust inhalation of certain materials is known the use of the substance will be controlled by a law known as The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 - requiring many your employer to take many safety steps including a risk assessment of the working environment. Additional laws are often made relevant to the specific material involved.

In addition - the laws that apply to determining your employer's responsibility for an accident at work claim will apply equally to your industrial accident claim.

Click accident at work claim to find out how to show your employer is responsible for your workplace occupational injury claim

Can your employer avoid legal responsibility by reducing the health risk of harmful dusts in the workplace?

The answer to this question will depend on how dangerous the dust of the material is.

For example - asbestos produces a very dangerous dust: it only takes one asbestos fibre to cause mesothelioma. In this knowledge - it is very difficult for an employer to protect every employee from exposure to a single asbestos fibre, so in modern times an employer will struggle to avoid legal responsibility.

Of course, the one step he could take is not to use asbestos - this is now happening across the world.

What steps can your employer take to keep your exposure to harmful dust in the workplace to a minimum?

The steps your employer can take to limit your exposure to dust in the workplace are quite straight forward and include:

1. Providing you with a protective face mask - able to cover both the nose and mouth with instructions that it should be worn at all times in a dusty environment.

2. Providing good ventilation to the workplace - allowing fresh air to enter and harmful dust to exit.

3. Removing dust from the workplace as it is produced by suction.

4. Piping fresh clean air into the work environment.

5. Washing dust away regularly by wetting down of materials.

6. If the dust of the material is too hazardous - your employer could develop a less harmful material and switch use to it. Asbestos is now being replaced with harmless man made fibres.

If you have worked for several employers which use the same hazardous substance, such as asbestos, how do you know who to make your asbestosis compensation claim against?

A lung disease such as asbestosis is caused by the length of time you are exposed to asbestos dust so imagine you worked for 5 years with two employers being exposed to asbestos dust.

You can make your claim against both employers - each being responsible for half of your total claim.

Click industrial injury to see how you can claim the full amount of compensation against both employers if the lung disease is mesothelioma.

This page has provided you with an overview of: the laws in the UK used to win your asbestosis compensation claim, the steps your employer should take to protect you from the effects of harmful dust and how you can claim compensation from more than one employer.

You have seen how to show your employer's legal responsibility for lung disease caused from the inhalation of harmful dust - it is now important you find out how to show your employer's legal responsibility for other types of industrial injury. The next type of industrial injury claim I recommend you find out about is repetitve strain injury.

Click repetitive strain injury to discover how to show employers' liability for your RSI compensation claim.