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Claims for Toxic Gas Inhalation in a Factory

Is it possible to make claims for toxic gas inhalation in a factory? I am suffering from COPD after breathing in chlorine gas at work.

Claims for toxic gas inhalation in a factory will be possible if your injury was suffered as a direct result of the negligence of your employer. This could be the accidental release of chlorine gas at work or for failing to provide you with the appropriate personal protective equipment to prevent the inhalation of the gas at work for example.

Due to the serious risk of injury from inhaling chlorine gas, your employer should have taken great care to ensure that you were properly protected. This is also a legal responsibility under COSHH regulations if you are required to work with the gas at work. A failure of your employer to employ the appropriate control measures in the workplace to prevent inhalation of the gas would represent a serious failure in a duty of care and negligence on the part of your employer.

Only if you were personally responsible for the release of the gas at work or for breathing in the fumes is a claim for COPD unlikely to be possible. If you were provided with the appropriate personal protective equipment and you decided not to use it, you would not be entitled to make a claim.

It is not possible to determine with absolute certainty that COPD developed due to gas inhalation, and because of this it is only necessary to prove “on the balance of probability” that your COPD developed due to breathing chlorine. To establish and prove that you sustained lung damage from inhaling toxic gas it will be necessary to obtain the opinions of expert doctors. Medical reports must be submitted with your claim to establish that COPD most likely developed due breathing in chlorine at work. A solicitor is in the best position to arrange for examinations and to obtain proof of employer negligence.

One common issue with claims for COPD is that this lung disease has many different causes. While it is possible to develop COPD from inhaling toxic gas and respiratory irritants, the main causative factor is the inhalation of cigarette smoke. If you are a smoker or have smoked in the past, your claim is likely to be complicated.

Since there is potential for claims for toxic gas inhalation in a factory to be complex, we strongly recommend seeking legal advice from a personal injury solicitor and to allow a solicitor to assess your case and pursue your claim for compensation for toxic gas inhalation on your behalf.

A solicitor will give you specific advice about the steps with must be taken to ensure your claim for compensation for toxic gas inhalation has the maximum probability of being successful. A solicitor will also arrange for you to be examined by expert doctors to establish and prove the link between COPD and the accident at work and will ensure that the strongest possible case is made against your employer for failing to prevent you to sustain lung damage from inhaling toxic gas.

A solicitor will ensure that all steps are taken to maximise the probability of a suitable settlement being reached with your employer’s insurance company, and the experience of a solicitor will be invaluable if this is not possible and your claim requires litigation through the courts.