Asthma Warning For Midlands Workers

Expert Workplace Illness Lawyers Warn Of Occupational Asthma Dangers

22.10.2015

Expert workplace illness lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have called for improved respiratory protection for employees working in environments where they are exposed to high levels of dust and harmful fumes after seeing a rise in the number of people suffering asthma because of their job.

Irwin Mitchell has represented many individuals who now suffer with respiratory diseases and conditions, such as occupational asthma, related to their exposure to harmful substances at work, which has forced them to stop working or reduce their working hours.

James Taylor, 59, from Stourbridge and Gerald Stead, 63, from Knighton, Market Drayton are victims in the Midlands who were represented by Irwin Mitchell’s specialist workplace illness lawyers in their legal battles for justice.

Both were exposed to harmful substances at work and have now been diagnosed with occupational asthma, which significantly impacts their day-to-day lives.

Gerald, a steel welder, was awarded a five-figure settlement from his employers Mena Engineering after his occupational asthma was caused by a poorly ventilated working environment.

Expert lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are also working to secure James a settlement from Opcare Ltd as he believes he was exposed to harmful chemicals while manufacturing artificial limbs.

Alex Shorey, a specialist workplace illness lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said:

Expert Opinion
“Both of these men are now suffering with occupational asthma we believe was caused by their working environments and the lack of protection in place to reduce their exposure to harmful fumes, dust and chemicals at work.

“The condition impacts their day-to-day lives and we would urge all companies to take their responsibility for health and safety seriously and provide workers with the respiratory protection they need to prevent others suffering like James and Gerald.

“The fact is that occupational asthma, which is a debilitating condition, is entirely preventable if workers are given the correct equipment and if workplace are correctly ventilated, but we still see a significant number of people suffering from the condition as a result of their work.”
Alex Shorey, Solicitor

Gerald said: “My wife and I have moved out to the countryside so I can get more fresh air, but I still struggle to get my breath every day and have been forced to give up my hobbies and interests as a result.

“In my case, the correct measures were not taken to protect me from harmful substances present in the air at work and I’m now forced to rely on an inhaler every day. I can only hope my case acts as a reminder to businesses to take the health of their workers seriously and do everything they can to protect them.”

James said: “I’m still struggling to come to terms with the fact I will suffer with this condition for the rest of my life. The fact that it has been caused by a job I did for more than 30 years simply adds insult to injury.

“I have dedicated my working life to the company and I now face giving up the job I love. Occupational asthma has completely changed my life and I can only hope my situation encourages companies to take the necessary action to reduce the likelihood of this happening to anyone else in the future.”

If you or a loved one has suffered from respiratory problems - such as occupational asthma or silicosis - caused by conditions at work, our solicitors could help you claim compensation. See our Industrial Disease Claims page for more information.