Whether you work in agriculture, on a construction site or in a factory, there are a variety of different jobs across Scotland that require the use of chemicals on a regular basis. If you are one such employee, it is important your employer takes appropriate measures to protect your welfare, as the chemicals you come into contact with could well put health at risk.
However, what happens if your employer fails to do so and you suffer a physical or even psychological injury as a result? Could be entitled to claim for the damages caused by a chemical disease or injury? And if so, how do you get the claims process started?
Preventing chemical diseases at work
Employers have a duty to protect the health and safety of their staff while at work. This means that your employer is legally obliged to take reasonable steps to ensure your well-being, as well as that of your fellow colleagues. You should therefore:-
· Be informed of any chemicals you will either handle or be exposed to during the course of your work duties;
· Be advised upon a safe system of work to prevent chemical injury or disease;
· Be provided with training and information so that you understand how to achieve this safe system of work;
· Be provided with personal protective equipment, if necessary;
· Be briefed upon the findings of risk assessments, which should be carried out at regular intervals;
· Be given supervision and guidance, if required;
· Work with other competent colleagues.
Chemical disease and chemical injury claims
Nevertheless, there are sadly times when an employer neglects his or her legal duty, thereby exposing their workforce to the risk of chemical disease and injury. There are a variety of different illnesses caused by chemicals, the exact nature of which will be determined by the type of substance in question, as well as the length of exposure. Some employees may suffer a chemical burn immediately upon coming into contact with a chemical, whereas others may develops allergies or illness as a result of long-term exposure.
Either way, chemical diseases and injuries often represent serious and debilitating conditions that can cause a significant amount of pain and distress to the individual concerned. That is why if you have suffered from a chemical disease or injury at work, you need to consider who (if anyone) was to blame. Was your physical health compromised as a consequence of your own actions? Or is someone else at fault, as is usually the case? For example, perhaps your employer did not provide a safe system of work, or perhaps another member of staff acted incompetently.
If another party is to blame for your chemical disease or injury, you will be entitled to pursue a compensation claim. Although this will not cancel out the harm you and your loved ones have endured, it will at least provide you with some form of redress, and will also recover any finances you have lost because of health issues.
Work accident claims Scotland
If you would like to discuss making a work accident claim in Scotland, call us on 01382 229 222 (Dundee) or 0131 222 8000 (Edinburgh) and speak to one of our specialist solicitors. Or fill in the online enquiry to the right.