Work-Related Illness Claims*

A work-related illness or industrial disease* is an injury or illness that is sustained as a result of an accident at work*. This is generally caused by an unsafe working environment or overexposure to harmful materials and chemicals in the workplace.

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Types of Work-Related Illness

A work-related illness* covers a wide range of illnesses as they can vary for each industry based on the work that is being carried out. 

An industrial disease* is usually contracted as a result of unsafe conditions and work practices. If the correct regulations and procedures are not in place then the chances of an accident* occurring is increased.

The HSA ran a study over a 12 month period and concluded that 55,000 people in Ireland suffered from a work-related illness* over this specific 12 month period, which resulted in over 790,000 days of work lost. Also, HAS reports that most work-related illnesses fall into these categories:

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) (50%)

These kinds of injuries affect different parts of the body used for body movement, examples of which being, muscles, ligaments, tendons and the skeleton. The risk of MSD is higher in sectors such as construction, agriculture and health services. It has been reported as lowest in educational and other services.

Stress, Anxiety and Depression (SAD) (18%)

Their definition of stress is a person’s reaction to times where they are presented with work that is outside of their knowledge and/or capabilities which challenges their ability to cope. Anxiety and Depression, on the other hand, have been defined as mental disorders. It has been reported that the sectors with the highest risk of SAD illnesses are workers in the educational, health, public admin, transport sectors.

Other (32%)

Other work-related injuries.

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. Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work 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 protective equipment
  • Ensuring that all equipment and machinery is working correctly
  • Providing a safe working environment for staff

A breach in health and safety regulations or duty of care can lead to injury and illness in the workplace. If an illness was caused as a result of employer negligence then they will be found liable.


The Safety, Health and Welfare Act 2005 also sets out certain duties that an employee has.

  • Attend all training provided by an employer
  • Cooperate with the employer in relation to regulations in place
  • Report problems they have noticed to their employer

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.

What are Common Work-related Illnesses?

Cancer caused by exposure to harmful materials

People who work in certain industries who are exposed to hazardous substances are more at risk of developing cancer. This can be caused by a number of different chemicals such as;

  • Asbestos
  • Arsenic
  • Benzene
  • Dioxins
  • Silica

Overexposure to these chemicals can result in an illness developing over time. People may be unaware of their symptoms.

Industrial Deafness

This is a hearing impairment that is caused by exposure to excessive noise in the workplace. Symptoms include missing parts of conversations and a constant ringing in your ears which is known as tinnitus.

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome

This is an injury caused by vibration damages that can occur in the hands and arms. This is associated with people who work with vibrating tools or machinery.


This is a skin disorder that is caused by contact with certain harmful substances while at work. This is one of the most common industrial diseases in Ireland and is sustained by skin contact with harmful materials. Dermatitis can have long-term implications for the injured person and may leave them unable to carry out certain tasks.

What are the Causes?

Preventing Industrial Diseases and Illnesses

There are a number of issues that need to be looked at in order to reduce the risk of a work-related illness.


It is important that all employees are provided with the correct training before they can carry out a job. If they know the correct procedures and steps to follow if something goes wrong then the risk of an illness developing is reduced. It is an employee’s responsibility to attend any training that is provided to them.

Personal Protective Equipment

Protective equipment is essential for those who work around hazardous materials. Injuries are more likely to occur if the correct equipment is not used. This protective equipment should be replaced on a regular basis to ensure that health and safety regulations are followed.

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We use our expert knowledge and 30 years’ experience to give you the voice you need. We use non-legal language and provide practical and impartial advice through every stage of the process!

Call us today on +353 1 649 9900 or contact us online.

How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a personal injury* solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Prepare the information for a solicitor

    When you decide you want to move forward with your injury claim* it is important to have all the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Important information to have on hand at this point is:

    • Date of the accident
    • Location of the accident
    • Details of who/what caused the accident
    • Specifics of what happened
    • Who did you report the accident to?
    • If any emergency services attended the scene, and their details
    • Details of your injuries
    • Hospitals/Doctors attended with your injury
    • Any pictures you may have taken of the scene of the accident and/or your injuries
    • Details of any witnesses
    • Is there CCTV that may have captured the accident?
  2. Solicitor becomes your trusted advisor

    As a solicitor is aware of the injury claim* process they can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you did this yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.

  3. Solicitor obtains a medical report

    The most important document needed to prove your injuries is your medial report. The reason a solicitor will ask for your doctor’s details or if you have attended the hospital is so they can obtain all the medical reports required to pursue the case for you.

  4. Solicitor prepares the Injuries Board application

    As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your injury claim* will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. You solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move the next steps.

    At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:

    a. If both you and the party at fault accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the person at fault will be ordered to pay settlement to you.

    b. If either you or the person at fault reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.

  5. Possible case outcomes

    Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.

    Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point without ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and to let you focus of your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.

At Tracey’s we make law accessible to all — regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your car accident, phone 01 649 9900 where you can speak with a member of our team straight away, or email to tell us about your case.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with an injury claim* you may be entitled to claim compensation for the injury and added expenses you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following an accident*.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the injury*, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the injury (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages

Material Damages

Material damage refers to damage caused to your personal property. For example, in a road traffic accident, the material damage would be the damage to your car.

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases* is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident* to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Learn more about Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors

We draw on more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

Contact Us

Our friendly and experienced team are waiting to answer your call. Lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.

+353 1 649 9900

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