Do you know your rights regarding occupational lung disease? Occupational lung diseases refer to a range of conditions that are linked to exposure to dust, fibres, fumes, and other harmful substances while working. These conditions can be extremely severe depending on the longevity and proximity, and a range of other such factors. It is important that anyone who is suffering from any occupational lung disease to consult a doctor. 

Can I claim compensation for work-related respiratory issues? 

As with any work-related topics, it is the responsibility of your employer to ensure that you have a work environment that is safe and free from harmful particles as these may cause damage. If you have or are suffering from a work-related respiratory issue, you can receive compensation for a variety of items, like lost wages, medical expenses and even lump-sum payments. The lump-sum payments are available in the event that you are suffering from a terminal respiratory disease or pneumoconiosis. 

Examples of occupational respiratory conditions 

Respiratory lung conditions can come in many forms:

  • Asthma
    This is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and may produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, a whistling sound (wheezing) when you breathe out and shortness of breath. 
  • AsbestosisThis is long-term inflammation and scarring of the lungs due to asbestos fibres. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, cough, wheezing, and chest tightness. Complications may include lung cancer, mesothelioma, and pulmonary heart disease.
  • Lung cancerCancer that originates in the lungs. It can proceed to spread to other parts of the body as it progresses. 
  • SilicosisThis is a lung disease where it is difficult to breathe. It is caused by breathing in dust that contains silica which then builds up; silica is found in sand, rock, or mineral ores like quartz. 
  • Black lungThis is also known as Coal Worker’s Lung. It is a lung disease caused by long-term exposure to coal. It works in a similar way to Silicosis. 
  • Brown lungThis is a rare form of lung disease caused by inhaling hemp, flax, and cotton particles.
  • Respiratory acidosisA condition that occurs when the lungs cannot remove all of the carbon dioxides the body produces. This causes body fluids, especially the blood, to become too acidic.
  • Extrinsic allergic alveolitisA lung disorder resulting from repeated inhalation of organic dust, usually in a specific occupational setting. In the acute form, respiratory symptoms and fever begin several hours after exposure to the dust.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases(COPD) e.g. emphysema and bronchitis

What are some of the common symptoms of respiratory disease? 

Many of the most common occupation respiratory illnesses share similar symptoms like: 

  • Breathlessness
  • Wheezing
  • Tight chest
  • Persistent chesty cough
  • Frequent chest infections

How do you make a claim for occupational lung disease? 

The best way to begin any workers compensation claim, including one for occupational lung disease, is to seek expert advice. What’s My Claim Worth has a free compensation claims calculator to help you work out how much you could claim. What’s My Claim Worth partners with expert lawyers who work on a no-win, no-fee basis. Check out our page on Dust Disease Compensation Claims for more information.