Compensation for Construction Workers – Find Out If You Can Claim
Can I Claim Compensation for Injuries or Illness Sustained Working on a Construction Site?
If you have worked as a construction worker, you will known that an unsafe working environment and lack of PPE can put you at risk of suffering from a number of different injuries and illnesses.
Here at AWH Solicitors, we can help you to make a claim for compensation when you have suffered because of your employer’s safety negligence.
There are a number of different construction related injuries that you could potentially suffer from, for which you can likely claim compensation. Some common conditions include:
- Vibration White Finger (VWF) and Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)
- Asbestos related illness
- Respiratory illness such as asthma
- Occupational dermatitis
- Hearing loss or loss of sight
- Injuries caused by slips, trips or falls
- Musculoskeletal injuries
Claim Within the Time Limit
If you are claiming as a result of a workplace accident the accident must have occurred in the last 3 years. If you are suffering from a health condition such as VWF or asthma, you must claim within 3 years of your symptoms first occurring. You can also claim if symptoms have worsened over the past 3 years, even if you have suffered from the condition longer. If you have suffered from a condition for a longer time, however you have only recently become aware that it was caused through work, you may also be entitled to compensation.
Get in touch today to find out how you can pursue compensation for your injury and/or illness.
We will provide you with a free, no obligation assessment of your claim, and if you do wish to pursue a claim after receiving our legal advice, we will handle your case on a no win, no fee basis.
Am I Eligible to Claim Compensation?
In any construction workplace that you work in or enter as a visitor, the employer that owns that place has a duty of care. They must fulfil requirements to show that they are providing adequate protection for their employees. This includes:
- Giving all employees information about the risks that exist in their workplace and how they are protected, in addition to instructing and providing training on how to avoid them.
- Carrying out regular risk assessments that address all potential harm in the workplace.
- Consulting employees on health and safety issues. This consultation can be a direct one, or through a safety representative that is elected by the workforce or appointed by the trade union.
If, as an employee, you have developed hearing loss because of your employer’s failure to correctly protect you, then we can help you to make a claim for compensation.
All of these conditions can have a serious impact on your life, and claiming compensation can help you get the help that you deserve. Our expert solicitors can help you with your case from the start to the finish.
Vibration White Finger
Vibration white finger is also known as hand-arm vibration syndrome and is a secondary form of Raynaud’s syndrome. It is an industrial injury that is triggered by the continuous use of vibrating hand-held machinery that can be used on construction sites. Some of the symptoms of vibration white finger include:
- Tingling ‘whiteness’ or numbness in the fingers
This symptom means that both the blood vessels and the nerves in the fingers are affected. It is likely to be the first sign of the syndrome and is likely to get worse if the use of vibratory tools is not stopped. Feeling in the fingers may eventually be lost.
- The fingers changing colour
This symptom means that the blood vessels are affected. The fingers will at first become pale and the feeling in them will be lost. This phase is then followed by the fingers flushing an intense red when the blood circulation returns to the fingers. This is often uncomfortable and is accompanied by intense throbbing.
- Loss of manual dexterity
In the most severe cases, attacks can occur frequently and can last up to an hour. In these cases, this generally signals that the nerves and muscles are both affected. You can lose manual dexterity and suffer from reduced grip strength.
In very extreme cases, sufferers can lose fingers if they do not address the symptoms. To complicate matters, sometimes symptoms can disappear after they initially appear, but then start again if the hands, wrists and are subject to further vibration exposure.
It is important to address vibration white finger symptoms as soon as you notice them, because there is a three-year limit on the time in which you can make a claim from when you are first aware of your symptoms.
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome
Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is the result of excessive vibration through the hands and arms. In as little time as 6 months, nerve damage and restricted blood flow to the hands and fingers can occur. Some of the most common symptoms of HAVS include:
- Pain, tingling and total loss of feeling
- Muscle wasting
- Reduced strength and grip ability
- Loss of fine motor skills
- White fingers that can also become painfully red
Once it begins to develop, HAVS can quickly become a debilitating condition that has an impact on your everyday life. Some of the equipment that is used on construction sites, and poses the greatest risk includes:
- Power chisels
- Impact Wrenches
The substance asbestos has been found to be present in a great deal of places where construction takes place. The inhalation of asbestos dust can cause a number of different diseases such as:
- Lung cancer
- Rounded atelectasis
- Lung cancer
- Pleural Plaques
- Pleural Effusion
- Diffuse pleural thickening
Unknowingly inhaling the dangerous fibres of asbestos over a number of years can ultimately lead to serious damage and scarring of the lungs. Symptoms of asbestosis can include:
- Extreme tiredness
- A persistent cough
- Swollen fingers
- Shortness of breath
- A pain in the chest or in the shoulder
If you suspect that you are suffering from the known symptoms of an asbestos-related disease, then it is always important that you visit your doctor if you think that any construction work has exposed you to dangerous fibres.
If you have been exposed to an excessive amount of noise at work, then you are also at risk of experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. Sufferers of tinnitus can experience:
- A constant ringing in the ears
- A constant buzzing in the ears
- Hearing white noise
Some sufferers only experience one of these symptoms, while those who have severe cases of the condition can suffer all symptoms at different times. Tinnitus occurs when the inner part of the ear – known as the Cochlea – is damaged. The cochlea is designed to carry thousands of tiny cells that detect sound to the brain. When these cells are damaged, the brain tries to find sound from elsewhere in the body and this is what leads to tinnitus. If your hearing has been damaged, you might be able to make an industrial hearing loss claim.
There are two different types of musculoskeletal injuries, both of which can occur on a construction site. The two different types of injuries are categorised as two different types of claims.
The first includes disorders that develop gradually, and are caused by the overuse of muscles, tendons, and nerves. Work activities which are frequent and repetitive, or activities with awkward postures, tend to cause these disorders. They can have a number of different names, including:
- Soft tissue disorders
- Overuse syndrome
- Regional musculoskeletal disorders
- Occupational cervicobrachial disorders
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Cumulative trauma disorders
They are categorised as industrial disease claims.
The second includes traumatic injuries of the muscles, tendons and nerves. These are considered separately and would be reviewed as a personal injury claim. These injuries can arise from:
- Slips, trips or falls
- Accidents with machinery
The definition of an eye injury includes any damage to the eyeball, the eye socket, or to the muscles and ligaments that control the movement of the eye within the socket. They can be caused by direct trauma to the eye, or by exposure to toxic substances or smoke.
Whilst some eye injuries are very serious and require extended medical care and treatment, others will just require careful monitoring after an initial visit to the opticians. Injuries to the eyes can include:
- A corneal abrasion or scratched eye
- Foreign objects in the eye
- Chemical eye injuries
- Eye swelling
- Subconjunctival haemorrhage or eye bleeding
- Traumatic iritis – this is when the coloured part of the eye is inflamed
- Hyphema and orbital blowout fracture – this is bleeding between the cornea and the iris.
It is important that you visit either an optician or an accident and emergency department if you have suffered an eye injury.
What Should I Do After my Injury?
When putting together the evidence that will be able to help your specialist solicitors, there are a few things that are beneficial for your case. It is a good idea to:
- Take the details of any witnesses to your accident
- Take photographs of whatever was the cause of your accident
- Take photographs of the injury that you have suffered as a result of your accident
- Ask witnesses to make any notes about the accident that caused your injury
- Makes detailed notes about your accident as soon as possible
It is also a legal requirement for your injury to have been recorded in the accident book, so make sure that this has been done.
Get in Touch and Get Started
Due to a 3-year time limit on the claims process, it is always best to act quickly after your accident that has occurred while working on a construction site. Our expert solicitors have worked on cases involving all of these various scenarios and will be able to guide you through making a claim.
If you’ve worked on a construction site, get in touch with us today for expert help.Get in touch