Accidents at work

Emphysema

What is Emphysema?

Emphysema is most commonly caused by smoking; however it can also be caused by prolonged exposure to dusty environments.  Emphysema is an incurable progressive disease which gets worse over time.  Dust inhaled into the lungs settles and makes it difficult for the sufferer to breathe.  The lungs become damaged and consequently the body cannot absorb sufficient oxygen. 

What are the Symptoms?

The symptoms begin with breathlessness, fatigue or a persistent cough and progress to leaving the sufferer reliant on oxygen supplies and therefore housebound. 

Making a Claim

Many miners and those employed in the UK mining industry contracted emphysema as a result of their dusty working conditions.  Currently health and safety regulations stipulates that risk assessments should be carried out and if the workplace is found to be a dusty environment Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as must be utilised to prevent the contraction of such diseases.  If PPE is recommended during the risk assessment and provided it is the employee’s duty to use it, if it is not used compensation could be reduced accordingly.  Provided that the contraction is at least partially the fault of the negligence of another a claim may be pursued.

If you need advice please call the PM Law Industrial Disease team on 0114 296 5444 or submit your details on the query form on this page and one of our legal consultants will contact you at a convenient time.