Personal Injury Claims In The Mining Industry
26th September 2013
Accidents at work and industrial illness claims are a real risk factor within the mining industry. Health and safety regulations have helped to improve safety standards within the sector, and risks to employees’ health should be taken seriously by employers, with all reasonably practicable steps taken to prevent avoidable accidents and illnesses from occurring.
Some of the hazards that arise in the mining industry and that are seen in the compensation claims handled by personal injury solicitors include:
Constant, excessive noise is very stressful to deal with and can lead to hearing problems. The mining sector has been obliged to provide hearing protecting to its employees in the 1960s to reduce the likelihood of industrial machinery causing problems such as deafness and tinnitus. However, shearers, conveyors, hydraulic pumps and other mining equipment still create a huge amount of noise, and lead to some mining industrial illness claims.
– HAVS and VWF
Mining machinery can also lead to Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) and Vibration White Finger (VWF), with constant vibration leading to nerve damage, pain, numbness and a tingling sensation. Employers should provide their staff with personal protective equipment to prevent these illnesses.
– Respiratory diseases
Reparatory diseases, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), are also seen in some personal injury claims. Exposure to airborne particles, such as coal dust, fumes and chemicals, can damage the lungs and lead to serious breathing difficulties, which can severely impact a person’s quality of life.
– Accidents at work
While the illnesses faced by miners are well known, accident at work compensation claims can also arise in the sector – heavy machinery, poor management systems and a failure to complete risk assessments can create dangerous working environments and cause catastrophic diseases. Employers should not accept that their workplace is ‘risky’, and employers should make every effort to ensure their workplaces are as safe as possible.
Making an industrial accident claim or a workplace accident claim
If you believe you have been injured as a result of your working environment, then you should visit a doctor to have your illnesses diagnosed. In some cases, the diseases suffered by miners are misdiagnosed – for instance, some doctors may associate respiratory diseases with smoking, and it is vital that you tell your doctor about your employment history. In some cases, personal injury solicitors or your doctor will put you in touch with a specialist, who will be able to determine the origin of your disease.
You should also speak to a doctor following an accident at work – do so as soon as possible so your injuries can be treated properly. Many people are reluctant to visit the doctor when suffering from a sore back or an injured knee, but receiving early treatment can be a vital element of an early recovery.
For independent advice, or to discuss making a personal injury compensation claim, don’t hesitate to contact our specialist solicitors. Dial 08000 430 430 or fill in our online enquiry form to get in touch.