Categorized | Health

Occupational diseases and illnesses

It isn’t expected that a person’s work life would result in injury to them, but unfortunately this can sometimes be the case. Accidents aside, occupational diseases are still prevalent despite a range of health and safety measures implemented by the Health and Safety Executive – click here for more information.

Here is a run-down of some of the more common industrial diseases and conditions which can occur throughout people’s working life.

  • Occupational asthma. Many people suffer from asthma, but if it is brought about by exposure to different substances at work, this is called occupational asthma. It covers a wide range of asthma severity, from annoyance and occasional shortness of breath to being very debilitating and affecting everyday life. There are a range of substances which can cause occupational asthma, such as isocyanates (a fairly common chemical), dust from flour or grain, wood dust (especially from certain wood types), dust from animals and many other causes. There are over 200 respiratory sensitizers which can cause and inflame asthma. More information can be found at asthma.org.uk – click here for their website.
  • Industrial deafness. This is sometimes called noise induced hearing loss and refers to when people lose their hearing over a prolonged period of time due to noises at work. Most of the time nowadays, people will have adequate ear protection to save their hearing, but this has not always been the case. Industrial deafness is most common in construction, mechanical and engineering jobs, but can happen in many other work environments. Wherever noisy machinery is used, you should have your ears protected. Thompsons Solicitors offer compensation schemes for those suffering from industrial deafness and you can visit their website here.
  • Asbestosis. This is caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos particles and creates acute shortness of breath and coughing. It can lead to more serious asbestos related illnesses such as mesothelioma and lung cancer, but this is not always the case. If you have worked in manual jobs in the past 30 or more years, you may have been exposed to asbestos and should be aware of the risks. Luckily for sufferers, compensation is available, with solicitors such as those at Asbestos Advice Helpline acting on your behalf. More information is available on their website here.
  • Tuberculosis. In the past, tuberculosis was rife, but has decreased over the last 100 years. Unfortunately it can still be caught by those who are vulnerable and those working with people who are infected. There is a real risk of catching the disease if you are a health care professional, which is why this type of infection is classed as an industrial disease. For legal information on industrial tuberculosis, visit the UK legal information website by clicking here.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This is a fairly common condition which slowly develops into pain and numbness in the fingers and hand. It is caused when the nerve which controls your hand is compressed. It is not always known why this happens, but is common amongst people who do repetitive and continued work with the hand. This can happen in almost any line of work, but is most common in office workers who type a lot and manual jobs where the hands are in constant use. For more information on the affliction, visit the NHS page by clicking here.

There are many other diseases and conditions which are classed as occupational, visit the DWP website here for a more in depth list.

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