Work Related Injuries

Although employers must ensure they take all correct steps to avoid accidents or injury in their workplaces, sadly thousands of accidents still occur every year.

Employers must protect their employees, contractors and visitors from injuries and accidents. Employers are legally obliged to hold appropriate insurance that covers you for accident or injury.

As with any other compensation claim, if you are injured at work, you must prove that your injury, illness or disease resulted from your employer’s negligence. We can help build evidence to present to your employer and/or their insurance officer.

Compensation claims for accidents at work can be complex. While some settle within months, others take years to pursue in the courts, simply because it is difficult to gather evidence or due to the extent of the injuries sustained. As with all personal injury claims, it is very important to settle a claim only when you have a clear picture of the injuries sustained from medical experts and any likely side effect and future implications this may have for an individual.

Your employer is obliged to protect you by –

  • Providing the required machinery and tools for your job
  • Ensuring your machines and tools are safe
  • Guaranteeing your workplace is safe and clean
  • Ensuring you have a suitable work station and chair
  • Guaranteeing that floors and corridors are clean and hazard-free
  • Guaranteeing that doors and gates are not obstructed
  • Providing training to show you how to lift heavy objects safely
  • Providing proper safety clothing and other equipment for your job – goggles, ear defenders, dust masks, hard hats, safety gloves, safety boots or high visibility jackets

If you have suffered a workplace accident, injury, illness or disease, contact us now for expert advice on claiming against your employer/past employer.

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Claims

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) affects many people in Northern Ireland, and is caused by repeated movements over a long period.

This damages tendons, nerves, muscles and body tissues and may be caused by work-related activity. It normally starts with low-level pain that people may ignore. With time, it becomes more severe. RSI can also result from general body posture and work stress, not limited to one type of job. It can affect office workers at a computer, but also people in factory assembly lines.

If you believe you suffer from work-related RSI, contact us now to find out if you can claim compensation.

Dermatitus & Skin Conditions Claims

Dermatitis, or skin inflammation, is caused by contact with irritants. Unfortunately, skin conditions are common, and can lead to ongoing difficulties with future employment, restricting the types of work you can do.

If you develop a work-related skin condition or dermatitis you may be able to claim compensation. Symptoms include red or inflamed skin that is itchy and blistering, not only on the hands or face, but also on other body parts.

Common dermatitis causes include –

  • Epoxy resins
  • Solvents
  • Chemicals
  • Detergents
  • Oils
  • Rubber/latex

 

These occupations are potentially at risk of dermatitis –

  • Engineers/latex
  • Lay-up workers in factories
  • Hairdressers
  • Kitchen workers
  • Cleaners
  • Nurses
  • Painters
  • Healthcare workers
  • Printers
  • Food processing and catering workers

Your employer must minimize the risk of dermatitis. They should give you suitable protective clothing to avoid skin exposure, such as gloves and overalls, and offer medical testing to ensure that don’t experience difficulties.

If you suffer from this condition, it may help to discuss it with a solicitor, who can advise whether you have a claim and what your employer must do to assist you.

We have successfully brought cases before the courts for many years, and have a reputation for getting clients compensation, including loss of future potential employment opportunities, as a result of dermatitis.

For a no obligation, free initial meeting to discuss your case, contact David French now in our Belfast Office on 028 9045 3449 or email him at david@reidblack.com.

Vibration White Finger

Hand/Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is an industrial condition, caused by working with vibrating tools. It causes tingling in the hands, numbness and, sometimes, aching joints in the wrist or forearm.

Sometimes HAVS is called Vibration White Finger, although white fingers are just one of the possible symptoms.

If you are continuously exposed to vibrations, then symptoms are likely to continue and could potentially become permanent. There is little effective treatment and symptoms can affect your daily activities. Potentially, symptoms could have a long-term effect on your ability to work.

In Northern Ireland, workers in the engineering industry are most likely to develop HAVS.

Have you worked with any of the following machinery?

  • Percussive tools, eg riveting or rivet guns
  • Grinding, including pedestal or handheld grinders
  • Pneumatic drills and hammers
  • Chainsaws

Employers are obliged to limit employees’ use of vibrating machinery. If your employer is not taking steps to limit this, they could potentially be negligent. Your employer should also offer medical checks to ensure you have not developed HAVS.

Employer’s negligence claims

Accidents at work happen every day. While some are minor, more serious accidents may have financial consequences for you, due to loss of earnings. They can also restrict your potential in the job market.

We can help you claim and seek recovery for workplace accidents resulting from employer’s negligence. This may include compensation for your injuries and recouping wage loss suffered as a result.

Were your injuries were caused by any of the following?

  • Unsuitable or unsafe equipment
  • Unsafe work systems
  • Dangerous working practice
  • Exposure to dangerous substances or materials
  • Lack of health and safety equipment
  • Lack of training

Your employer is legally required to have insurance that covers workplace accidents. If you have an accident at work, you can claim. Your employer’s insurance company usually deals with it.

Employers are also liable for other employees’ actions in the workplace. If your injuries result from negligence by other employees, you are also entitled to claim.

Work & health related claims

Asbestosis

Mesothelioma

Unfortunately this asbestos-related illness is common in Northern Ireland. It develops from heavy contact with asbestos, prevalent in many workplaces in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Once diagnosed, you can make a claim, even if a long time has passed since your contact with asbestos.

Symptoms & diagnosis

Mesothelioma is a tumour, normally in the lining of the lungs. Symptoms include shortness of breath, abnormal chest sounds and fingertip clubbing. Diagnosis is usually with a chest x-ray or CT scan and lung tests. The condition can worsen and become very disabling. It is fatal and can appear between 10 and 50 years after asbestos contact. Currently there is no cure.

Pleural Plagues

The law changed in 2011, so that people in Northern Ireland with pleural plagues can claim compensation.

How can we help you?

We can help you with your claim, having successfully acted on behalf of a number of individuals with Mesothelioma and asbestos-related injuries.

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