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Occupational Lung Cancer and Lung Disease

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Occupational Lung Disease

These are conditions that have been caused or worsened by someone’s occupation. Conditions are caused by inhaling mineral dusts. The severity of the disease is related to the dust inhaled and the duration of that exposure.

What are the Types of Occupational Lung Disease?

There are a number of lung-related illnesses which can be associated with previous work exposure. These include:

  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis
  • Lung Cancer
  • Mesothelioma and other Asbestos-related illnesses
  • Pneumoconiosis

Apart from occupational asthma and other allergic respiratory diseases, the above conditions have long latency periods where symptoms are generally not noticed until decades after exposure.

Occupational Lung Cancer and Lung Disease


What are the Symptoms?

The most common symptoms of Occupational Lung Cancer and Lung Disease may include:

  • Shortness of breath and a feeling of tightness in the chest.
  • Abnormal breathing pattern.
  • Coughing and wheezing.

It must be stressed that symptoms of Occupational Lung Cancer and Lung Disease may resemble other medical conditions, and it is vitally important that you consult your GP for a diagnosis.

Who is at Risk?

Anyone who has worked in industry, having been exposed to dust and chemicals can be affected by lung disease exposure. Some of the known chemicals known to cause lung disease include:

  • Arsenic.
  • Asbestos.
  • Cadmium.
  • Coal Dust.
  • Diesel Exhaust.
  • Nickel.
  • Silica.
  • Tobacco Smoke.

Typical occupations that may be exposed are:

  • Mechanics.
  • Coal miners.
  • Construction workers.
  • Certain manufacturing roles.



What Should Your Employer Do?

In the first instance, employers should as far as reasonably practicable ensure that any exposure with chemicals is avoided. If exposure cannot be avoided, your employer should ensure that adequate and appropriate personal protective equipment is provided when you are exposed to any chemical that can knowingly cause injury to your health. This could include equipment such as breathing apparatus and protective clothing.

Your employers will also have duties under statutory regulations:


Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999

  • Duty to undertake a reasonable risk assessment (Reg. 3)
  • Duty to undertake health surveillance on those identified at risk (Reg. 6)

Personal Protective equipment Regs 1992

  • Duty to provide suitable personal protective equipment (PPE)to employees who are at risk and that risk can not be otherwise controlled (Reg. 4)
  • Ensure that adequate training/instruction is provided to the employee on the risks which the PPE will protect against (Reg. 9)
  • Ensure any PPE is in an efficient state and efficient working order (Reg. 7)

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002

  • Required to access health risk where work is liable to expose employees to substances hazardous to health (Reg. 6)
  • Ensure exposure to substances hazardous to health is either prevented, or where this is not reasonably practicable, adequately controlled (Reg. 7)
  • Ensure any employee exposed to substance hazardous to health is monitored and under suitable health surveillance (Reg. 11)

How Do I Make a Claim?

If you believe you have been affected by a lung condition as a direct consequence of exposure at work, Oakwood Solicitors can help. We have a dedicated team of solicitors and advisers who will be able to discuss the merits of your claim in a no-obligation discussion.

How Long Will My Case Take?

The length of time for a case can vary and can strongly depend on how the Defendants want to conduct their Defence. Depending on whether liability is disputed or accepted the claims can take somewhere from 1–3 years.

Will I Lose My Job If I Make a Claim?

If you are still working for the Defendants, they cannot dismiss you for making or proposing to make a claim. If your employer attempts to do so, are likely able to make a successful claim for unfair dismissal.

In our experience, most employers understand their duties owed to their employees and the right you have to pursue a claim if this duty has been breached. In the majority of matters, the claim will normally be transferred to the Defendants’ insurers to deal with and on a day to day basis.

Oakwood Solicitors Ltd


Why Use Oakwood Solicitors to Handle My Claim?

We have a very experienced and dedicated Industrial Disease team. They are able to identify whether a claim is likely to be viable at an early stage and give advice accordingly. The team works with an extensive network of oncologists, having dealt with a number of claims in all areas of Industrial Disease and achieved success.

How Would My Case Be Funded?

Our cases are brought on a ‘no-win, no-fee’ basis. If we accept your claim,  as long as terms of the agreement are complied with by yourself – namely that you do not mislead and you co-operate, there will be no charge to you in the event the case fails.

If the case succeeds there will be a deduction made from the damages.


If you have a condition related to Occupational Lung Cancer and Lung Disease, which you believe was brought on by your field of work – get in touch today for a free initial consultation in complete confidence. Choose one of the methods on the right-hand side of this page, or call us on 0113 200 9787 to find out how we can help you.

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Meet the Head of Department

Tim Fieldhouse

Solicitor and Head of Industrial Disease

0113 200 9765

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