Factory Dust Illness Claim *
A factory dust illness in an injury or illness * that is sustained as a result of a workplace accident * or overexposure to certain harmful substances. This is generally caused by an unsafe working environment or inadequate protective measures. Workers in certain industries may be exposed to factory dust which can lead to them developing some form of an industrial illness or disease *. Many of these workers understand that there is a certain level of risk associated with their job so it is important that they take the necessary precautions which will help to minimise the risk of an accident occurring. If the correct health and safety regulations are not in place then the chances of an illness being developed are increased.
Factory environments can be very dusty places with the large number of people, equipment and dangerous machinery. There is also a greater chance that there will be a large amount of potentially hazardous substances and materials which could lead to a work-related illness being developed. Claims made for diseases caused by factory dust are generally made through the Injuries Board as a personal injury claim.
Who is liable?
All employers have a duty of care to their staff to ensure that their health and safety is guaranteed throughout the course of their work. It is their responsibility to put precautions in place in order to do this. Under the Safety, Health and Welfare Act 2005, all employers have certain duties to make sure that employees are looked after and work in a safe environment. These duties include;
- Providing employees with the correct training and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Managing activities in a way which prioritises health and safety
- Providing a safe working environment that is practical for all staff
- Ensuring that equipment and machinery is in a good working condition
A breach of health and safety regulations or duty of care can lead to injury and illness in the workplace. If a factory dust illness was caused as a result of employer negligence it is likely that they will be found liable.
The Safety, Health and Welfare Act 2005 also sets out certain duties that an employee has.
- Attend all training made available to them
- Ensure that they wear the correct protective equipment
- Report any problems or defects which they notice during the course of their work
- Co-operate with their employer in regards to following health and safety regulations
It is not just employers that have a duty of care. Employees should also ensure that they show a duty of care to both their employer and co-workers. If a staff member is acting in a negligent manner which led to an injury or illness * then they will be found liable and there will be certain consequences for their actions. It is important that employees follow the regulations which are in place as if they sustain an injury caused by contributory negligence they may not be eligible to make a claim.
People who work in certain industries who are exposed to factory dust are more at risk of developing workplace related cancer. This can be caused by overexposure to certain material in the dust. This illness can develop over time and many people may be unaware of their symptoms for some time.
This is a skin disorder which is caused by contact with certain harmful substances while at work. This is one of the most common diseases associated with factory dust in Ireland and it is sustained by skin contact with harmful materials which may be present. Dermatitis can have long-term implications for the injured person and may leave them unable to carry out certain tasks.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
This is an obstructive lung disease which can lead to long-term breathing problem. The most common symptoms of COPD include a shortness of breath, coughing and difficulty breathing.
Chronic bronchitis is a type of COPD. When bronchial tubes become inflamed they can produce mucus which can lead to coughing and difficulty breathing. Breathing in factory dust over an extended period of time is a common cause of this.
Respiratory diseases are a common illness associated with accidents at work. There are many different illnesses which can be caused by factory dust including, asthma, bronchitis, lung disease and tract infections. Common symptoms associated with respiratory diseases include chest pain, coughing, fever, weight loss and wheezing.
- Overexposure to harmful substances and factory dust
- Breach of duty of care
- Inadequate training
- Lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Failing to maintain equipment in the workplace
- Smoke inhalation
- Defective equipment
- Failing to follow health and safety regulations
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