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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Compensation Claims

Are former coal miners capable of pursuing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease compensation claims? I have just been diagnosed with COPD and am curious to know if it is possible for me to pursue a claim for compensation despite the fact that I am no longer employed in mining. I worked in the area, for the same employer, for 20 years until the end of last year.

Former miners may be able to pursue chronic obstructive pulmonary disease compensation claims if they can prove that their disease was caused, at least in part, by being forced to work in unsuitable conditions. Although many respiratory diseases can take years or even decades to become apparent, they can be contracted at any time during a miner’s career – though most often after the age of 50.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe a collection of similar respiratory conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Although some can be caused by smoking, they can also be brought on as a consequence of working in dusty, unventilated spaces for long periods of time.

Mining has long been a generational profession in the UK, and has roots in some towns as far back as the Industrial Revolution. Safety standards have improved dramatically since then however, and employers are now more accountable than ever for the conditions in which their employees work.

There are numerous pieces of legislation which refer to work safety standards. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994 for example, stipulates that workers which work with potentially dangerous chemicals – coalminers, farmers, asbestos workers, epoxy resin operatives, to name a few – must be provided with appropriate protection against harm. Safety clothing like overalls, gloves and masks must be provided when needed. If you believe your employer has breached the terms of this act you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease compensation claims can only be carried out after a qualified doctor has diagnosed the condition. Together with your doctor, a qualified personal injury claims solicitor will attempt to prove that ‘on the balance of probabilities’ your condition was derived from your work as a miner.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease compensation claims are easier to execute with the help of a qualified injury claims solicitor, who aside from being able to tell you whether or not you are eligible to claim for compensation, may also be able to provide you with an estimate of how much compensation you could be awarded – as COPD is incurable compensation can often be substantial – and will be able to answer any more question you have about the claims process.