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Specialist Lawyers Secure Settlement For Painter Who Contracted Asthma At Work

Irwin Mitchell’s workplace illness lawyers acted on behalf of Mr Williams after he contracted asthma at work.

Our client, a 40 year old painter, was employed as a materials technician. His role involved applying specialist coatings which contained isocyanates, a chemical which is known as a respiratory sensitiser and can only be used under the tight controls of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations.

Mr Williams came to us because his former employer had failed to protect him from exposure to the fume when he was applying specialist roof coatings. Because of this, he described experiencing symptoms of significant breathlessness. He used to be a keen runner and cyclist but because of his breathing condition his fitness deteriorated and he had to sell his bikes.

When we initially contacted Mr Williams’ employer, they denied responsibility for the illness. However, just five days before the planned trial date, a settlement of £120,000 was agreed upon.

It is hoped that Mr Williams’ compensation will go some way in helping him put his life back together. He is now working for himself and his health has improved significantly now that he is no longer exposed to the chemical.

David Johnston-Keay, a specialist disease solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, represented Mr Williams and wants to highlight to employers the importance of ensuring that they do everything they can to protect their staff from exposure to harmful chemicals.

David said: “The Health and Safety Executive has very clear guidance available to employers on the practical steps they can take to avoid exposing their employees to the potentially disastrous effects of exposure to isocyanates. That guidance is there to protect employees from exactly the kind of harm suffered by Mr Williams.

“This settlement is a substantial award. It reflects the impact that asthma has had on his general health and on his ability to find alternative, comparable work. However, no amount of compensation will change what has happened to him.”

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.

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