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Workplace cancer claims

Get help today by talking to our expert team of workplace cancer claims lawyers

35+ years' experience in the field

Evidence from the Health & Safety Executive and Cancer Research UK suggests that there is a link between some cancer diagnoses in the UK and patients’ occupational exposure to carcinogenic substances.

Such occupational cancers may arise from workplace exposure to:

Work-related cancers may take years to form in a patient before this link is discovered. At Leigh Day, we’ve helped people who have later found this connection and successfully secured compensation – whether for the patients themselves or their surviving families.

Ready to talk? Call us on freephone 0800 6895854.

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Contact our specialist team of industrial disease lawyers 

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Types of occupational cancers

There are many different types of work-related cancers – where prolonged exposure to a substance in the workplace is linked to the cancer emerging. We can help you make a claim for the different medical diagnoses, where the outcomes vary in the effects they have on patients’ lives. 

Different workplace cancers

Occupational cancer can be a devastating blow to industrial workers and their families. Sometimes GPs may overlook the connection between cancers linked with exposure to carcinogens in the workplace. However, this connection could help establish a case that the victim is entitled to state benefits, and can even bring a legal claim for compensation.

We have helped the families of patients diagnosed with a number of types of cancer related to industrial work. Common cancers related to industrial work include:

  • Lung cancer
  • Cancer of the nasal passages
  • Cancer of the larynx
  • Oesophagus cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Skin cancer

Responsibility for lung cancer commonly comes before the court. While the inhalation of asbestos fibres is an established cause of lung cancer and mesothelioma, other known industrial hazards include silica dust and arsenic dust or vapours.

Silica dust can also be a cause of cancer. We have great experience dealing with such cases, as Leigh Day partner Richard Meeran has represented a group of African miners who brought claims for silicosis in the Johannesburg High Court.

In recent years, experts have observed an increase in the number of other industrial cancer claims besides mesothelioma. In particular, there has been a rise in reports of bladder cancer cases from people who have worked in the:

  • Chemicals sector
  • Paint production
  • Rubber manufacture
  • Pigments and dye stuffs production

A recent meta-analysis also showed a risk increase of around 30% for bladder cancer in painters.

Cancer Research has linked bladder cancer and occupational exposure in cases going as far back as the 1980s. Further investigations have revealed about 4% of bladder cancer cases in European men are due to exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), common by-products of industry.

Certain nasal cancers are linked to exposure to wood dust, or solvents in shoe production. Angiosarcoma of the liver can be caused by exposure to products in the PVC industry. Every year around 6,100 people in the UK are diagnosed with liver cancer.

Standards of health and safety in the workplace are much better than 30 years ago. However, the legacy of lax levels of worker protection is sadly starting to reveal itself, as more people in retirement develop nasal and liver cancers caused by occupational exposure.

Making an occupational cancer claim

To begin a work-related cancer claim, contact our team of solicitors for a free initial consultation. They will listen to the details of your case, ask relevant questions in confidence for further information and assess whether you have a claim. Then they can offer advice on the next steps to progress your claim.

Before agreeing to take a claim forward, we will explain fully how your claim is funded. We will always advise you on the best way of funding your case. Many of our cases are taken on a No Win, No Fee basis and some are covered through home or other insurance, which may contain legal cover.

Under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002, your rights to bring a claim are protected. If an employer is found to have failed in their duty of care under these regulations, you could secure relevant compensation.

Work related cancer claims after death

It is possible for the family of the deceased to apply for industrial injury benefit where they have passed away due to a work-related cancer. The application must be made as soon as possible after the date of the death. If the post-mortem establishes the cause and effect of workplace exposure to a terminal condition or cause of death, a surviving spouse or child(ren) can bring the claim.

Contact our team of expert solicitors for a free initial consultation.

Occupational cancer compensation

There are two types of compensation settlements concerning occupational cancers. Your solicitor will work out the value of your claim based on both:

  • General damages – These are based on a general assessment of the pain and suffering sustained as a result of the exposure and subsequent cancer.
  • Special damages – These include financial losses and expenses incurred from illness. They can include loss of earnings, travel to appointments, the cost of care and the cost of private oncology treatment.

The amount of compensation secured depends on the mitigating circumstances and severity of the claimant’s condition. For example, if the claimant has to make adaptations to their home to manage their day-to-day condition, these costs will be factored into the total compensation amount.

Successful workplace cancer compensation claims

We have worked closely with a number of clients to progress claims of occupational cancer.

Dr Kate Richmond was diagnosed with mesothelioma following investigations into a stomach pain. Given this condition is only known to be caused by asbestos, our legal team confirmed the presence of the substances in the hospital where she worked.

With the help of witness statements, the team was able to secure the ruling that the hospital negligently exposed her to asbestos, and sought damages based on psychological support and private oncology treatment.

Read more about Dr Richmond’s case.

Speak to our team

Contact our specialist team of industrial disease lawyers 

Why choose Leigh Day?

Leigh Day specialise in industrial disease claims – covering a wide array of workplace cancer cases. We have more than 30 years’ experience and combine a supportive client relationship with first-rate legal advice to ensure justice and compassion for all.

Ewan Tant, handled our case with sensitivity and understanding at a very difficult time and helped us to get the best settlement possible. We would highly recommend him and his firm.” – Mesothelioma client.

If you’re ready to speak about your workplace cancer claim, get in touch with one of our expert team:

Contact our specialist workplace disease lawyers to discuss your claim. Call us on freephone 0808 2712267 for a no obligation and completely free consultation.

Legal cases for industrial diseases can be complex due to the issues in proving that somebody was exposed to significant quantities of the hazardous substance. One particular issue is that many cancers have a “latency period” meaning the symptoms do not develop for many years after the exposure. However, there are procedures in place to assist claimants through the courts to ensure that cases are heard quickly and effectively by an experienced judge.”

Dan Easton, Industrial diseases lawyer

Asbestos and mesothelioma claims

More information if you believe you have been exposed to asbestos