Claiming compensation for occupational cancers

At the start of our working lives, we all choose occupations and careers for different reasons: to become independent, to make a positive contribution, or to support ourselves and our families. Unfortunately, for a few of us, our occupations may lead us to eventually developing occupational cancers.

For example, there have been 3000 cases of cancer among firefighters, police officers and contractors who worked at Ground Zero and those who worked at or lived near Ground Zero, the site of the September 11 terror attacks in 2001. Many of these workers breathed in the dust of pulverised buildings for several weeks or months. These workers inhaled dust containing many different chemicals, they ate meals at the site surrounded in dust, and often they did not wear masks. A number of these workers have gone on to develop a rare form of cancer called oropharyngeal cancer and are currently struggling to get insurance coverage for their medical treatment.

Without a dramatic environmental event, such as the exposure to toxic dust created by the terrorist destruction of the Twin Towers in New York, what are the most common forms of occupational cancer and what are the most common reasons for it?

What is occupational cancer?

While cancer can be caused by many factors including genetic factors and lifestyle risk factors, occupational exposure to known and probable carcinogens results in one in 20 cancer deaths in Great Britain.

Causes of occupational cancer

Occupational cancer can be caused by exposure to certain carcinogenic agents, mixtures, and exposure situations:

  • Dusts (including asbestos and silica);
  • Chemicals and chemical compounds (including benzene, cadium and nickel compounds);
  • Radiation; (including sunlight and ionizing radiation) and
  • Industrial processes (including aluminium production, coal production, iron and steel founding, rubber manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, and mining)

Asbestos exposure

The most common type of occupational cancer results from past asbestos exposure. This can result in asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis. The construction industry has the highest number of occupational cancer cases, often resulting from working on buildings containing asbestos.

Cancer caused by asbestos exposure can take many years to develop. For example, mesothelioma cancer, an aggressive disease caused by asbestos, can take between 40 to 60 years to develop after the initial exposure. Due to the length of time involved, it can be difficult to pursue a claim against the employers who negligently exposed workers to asbestos.

From April 2014, there is now a new option for families of victims of mesothelioma cancer who are unable to trace a liable employer; families will be able to apply for compensation, worth on average £123,000 under the Mesothelioma Act 2014. If you fall into this category, please contact one of our professional team who can advise you on your options, or you can find out more information here.

Seeking compensation

Employers have a duty to provide a safe workplace for their workers. Employers who negligently expose workers to cancer causing substances and environments are responsible for this harm. If you are suffering from the effects of occupational cancer, make sure to seek the compensation you deserve.

If you or someone in your family is suffering from occupational cancer, you will have many serious medical and personal issues resulting from the cancer. Injury Lawyers 4U can help you fight for the compensation that you deserve. Then you and your family can focus on medical treatment and what is best for you and your family.

Injury Lawyers 4U are ‘no win, no fee’ solicitors, so generally, if your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t need to pay anything. If you have occupational cancer, just fill in this short contact form and we will contact you straight back.

Our professional team of lawyers specialise in claims resulting from occupational cancer and we can help you navigate this difficult time by advising you in an empathetic, professional manner.

The Most Common Injuries in the Construction Industry

You have to be tough to work in the construction industry.  5% of the population makes their living on building sites, however, the construction industry accounts for 27% of employee fatalities and 10% of major injuries.  And to add to these concerning figures, around 3,700 occupational cancer cases are linked to the patient spending part of their working life in the construction industry.

This blog will discuss the most common types of incidents which contribute to workplace injuries in the construction industry, and how to claim for compensation if you have received an injury while working on a construction site because of the negligence of another party.

The Danger Zone – What are the Most Common Types of Injuries Construction Workers are at Risk Of?

Falls are far and away the biggest threat to a construction worker’s life.  Accounting for 59% of fatalities in 2012/13, falls pose a serious risk to employees within the construction industry.  The remaining top causes of deaths are:

  • Being struck by a moving vehicle
  • The collapse of scaffolding or other materials
  • Fatalities caused by electrical accidents
  • Being hit by a moving vehicle

The top five causes of serious injury are:

  1. Falls
  2. Slips and trips
  3. Being hit by a falling object
  4. Handling materials

Although the number of fatal injuries fell last year, what is alarming about this data is a majority of the incidents that cause fatalities or serious injuries can be prevented.  There are many measures construction companies can take to improve workplace safety standards including:

  • Implementation of a detailed fall management program
  • Qualifying sub-contractors training and safety standards before contracting them to a project
  • Having well-organised, regular staff training sessions
  • Ensuring there is a uniform standard of health and safety measures throughout the entire company

Steps to Take if You are Injured on a Construction Site

If you are injured on a construction site you may be able to claim compensation, either from your employer, or if you are a self-employed contractor, the developer, the owner of the site, or the company that employed your services.

Under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR), a site manager must report any serious injuries or fatalities to the Health & Safety Executive.

After you have taken care of your personal safety and received any necessary medical care, it is important that you, or a trusted person:

  • Take the names and addresses of any witnesses to the accident
  • Take photographs of the accident site
  • Write down any important details that you will need to tell your solicitor
  • Keep hold of any medical notes
  • Do not accept any responsibility for the accident

Are No Win No Fee Arrangements Available For Construction Injury Compensation?

Absolutely.  Many personal injury law firms offer no win no fee arrangements, designed to make it easier to claim for compensation.  If you have received a serious injury on a construction site due to the negligence of someone else, the consequences can be life-long and devastating.  Being able to claim for compensation to assist with long term care and medical costs is a remedy that should be available to everyone, regardless of their personal financial circumstances. This is precisely why no win no fee arrangements were introduced in the late 1990s.

If you have suffered from an injury, or lost a loved one due to an accident on a construction site, then contact us today by filling in our contact form or calling us on 0333 400 4445.  Our experienced team can advise you as to whether you have a reasonable claim, and the next steps to take to proceed with the case.

Three Ways to Reduce Stress at Work

It is a well known fact that, although our lives are easier than in the past (we no longer have to spend 12 hours a day hand ploughing fields for our food), we are more stressed than ever before.  One statistic that highlights this fact is last year there were 53 million prescriptions written out for anti-depressant drugs in the England.

One of the greatest stressors in modern life is work.  With the recent recession making many people doubt their job security and modern technology allowing us to be accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it is no wonder many of us feel completely drained at the end of the working day.

So how can we reduce stress during the hours of nine to five?  Here are three ways to relax without sabotaging your perceived commitment to your employer.

  1. Exercise

As a stress reliever, exercise is hard to beat.  However, if you would rather watch paint dry than go  running, swimming or stationary cycling, why not try some real stress busting moves like kickboxing, Latin dancing, or Zumba.  Exercise releases endorphins, the so called ‘happy hormone’.  It allows the body to sweat out toxins and reduces the level of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol.  Just 30 minutes, three to four times a week is enough to make a significant difference in the way you manage work-related stress.

  1. Speak Up

Managers are busy people, so unless you tell them that your workload is becoming unmanageable, they are likely to think everything is fine, and pile on more tasks.  You may find it easier to document your concerns in an email, and invite your manager to come back to you in due course.  Remember to voice your concerns in a professional manner by following these dos and don’ts when approaching your boss.


  • Offer solutions. Do not unload your concerns of stress on your manager without also outlining at least two approaches you believe could alleviate your situation
  • Keep calm. It can be difficult to remain in control but try not to break down in tears.  If you feel the dreaded pinpricks behind your eyes, excuse yourself from the meeting and come back when you feel composed
  • Be positive about your position and your belief that the organisation has the ability and desire to support you. Remember, no organisation wants a personal injury claim for work-related stress brought against them, so if your concerns are valid, it is in your company’s best interests to find a workable solution to the problem


  • Play the blame game. Remember, keep it professional.  Finger pointing will only undermine your position.  However, if your work-related stress is caused by a specific person bullying or undermining you, then you do need to alert your supervisor to the situation
  • Be unprepared. Have clear examples of what is causing you unnecessary stress to hand, such as having to work late most evenings.
  1. Turn off your Email

If an individual believes that they have little or no control over their work flow, and constantly feel they are simply ‘fire fighting’ a majority of the time, the chances of them experiencing work-related stress dramatically increases.  One way to combat working reactively instead of proactively is simply to turn off your email alert.  Unfortunately this is easier said than done, as we are programmed on an evolutionary level to seek out new and novel information. This helped keep our ancient ancestors safe on the African savannah, however, studies show that being constantly alerted to a new email coming in and immediately opening it subtly raises our adrenaline and cortisal levels causing stress.

Try and discipline yourself to only checking and responding to your emails two or three times per day.  Let people know you are doing this and trust that in a true emergency situation, people will  pick up the phone and call you.

 What to do if you are Suffering from Work-Related Stress

If you are suffering from the misery of work-related stress, and your organisation has been negligent in allowing the situation which has caused your anxiety to occur or continue, then you may be entitled to claim compensation from your employer.  Many highly respected law firms now offer no win no fee arrangements, which provide an opportunity for all people, no matter what their financial situation, to seek access to justice.

If you are suffering from work-related stress then come and talk to us about your situation.  Our experienced and empathetic team will listen to the details of your predicament and advise you as to whether or not you have a valid claim for compensation.

Don’t suffer in silence, help is available.

Ten Entertainers Who Have Died in the Workplace

Do You Think Your Job Is Dangerous?

We all know that some jobs pose more risk than others.  Construction, farming and manufacturing all claim far too many lives every year. When it comes to dangerous professions, you would be forgiven for putting entertainers on the same level as office workers. However, it may surprise you to know that many entertainers have been killed in the workplace. Most of us have heard the sad tale of Brandon Lee who lost his life on the film-set of The Crow, but here are ten less well-known examples of entertainers who have suffered a fatal accident at work.

1.   Molière 1632-1673

One of the foremost comedy masters in world literature, the French playwright and actor’s most famous performance was his last.  He suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis and whilst performing in Le Malade imaginaire (The Imaginary Invalid), the last play he ever wrote, he collapsed on-stage after a fit of coughing and died a few hours later.

2.  Madame deLinsky died 1820

One of the oldest and most famous magic tricks is the ‘Bullet Catch’, however, this illusion is not for the faint-hearted and many a magician has died in front of their audience whilst performing it.  In 1820, a magician’s assistant Madame DeLinsky perished when the gun being used for the trick was loaded with a live bullet instead of a blank.

3.  John Marshall Alexander, Jr. 1929 –1954

On Christmas Day in 1954, the American rhythm and blues singer was playing with a .22 calibre revolver during a performance break in Houston, Texas.  Exactly what happened has always been disputed, but the young singer accidentally shot himself in the head and died.

4.  Les Harvey 1944 – 1972

A member of the Scottish band The Stone Crows, Harvey was electrocuted and died instantly during a sound check after touching an un-earthed microphone at the Top Rank Ballroom in Swansea.

5. Paul Mantz 1903-1965

Mantz, an experienced stunt pilot, was killed on the set of The Flight of the Phoenix when the plane he was flying during a stunt scene crashed into a hill.

6.  Karl Wallenda 1905-1978

The veteran high-wire walker plunged to his death after strong winds and a badly secured cable caused him to fall from the 10th story of the Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The moment was captured by a film crew and broadcast around the world.

7.  Vic Morrow 1929-1982

In one of the movie world’s most gruesome accidents, Morrow was decapitated during the filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie when a helicopter crashed on top of him and two child actors, killing all three instantly.

8.  Jon-Erik Hexum 1957-1984

The young American Actor and model died on the set of the TV show Cover Up after fooling around on set taking a blank-loaded gun and firing at point-blank range into his temple.  The impact was enough to shatter a piece of his skull and cause a massive haemorrhage.  He was pronounced brain-dead in hospital six days later.

9.  Eric Morecambe 1926-1984

The much loved comedian was performing at the Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury when he collapsed from a heart attack just after leaving the stage following six curtain calls.  His last words were jokingly “Thank goodness that’s over”.

10.  Owen Hart 1965 – 1999

The Canadian wrestler was killed when a harness, which was supposed to lower him into the ring for a pay-for-view match, malfunctioned causing him to fall 78 feet into the ring.  Although he sat up briefly after the fall, he collapsed and died shortly afterwards from internal bleeding.

If you have been injured at work, or have lost a loved one due to a workplace accident, you may be entitled to compensation.  Contact us today by filling out this form or call us on 0333 400 4445.

Common Office Injuries and How to Avoid Them

We seem to spend almost every waking hour at work, slogging away in order to pay bills, keep a roof over our heads and have a little fun now and again. It can be tough, especially in the winter when it’s dark when we get up and dark when we leave work, but it is a necessary part of life. Because we are at work for so much of our lives, staying safe in the workplace should be of paramount importance.

Different jobs will require different levels of safety precautions but accidents and injuries can occur in pretty much every job. Your employer has a legal obligation to keep you safe and while the vast majority will do just this, sometimes an accident or injury is simply unavoidable. It may not seem like there is much danger in an office workplace but injuries can still be sustained. So what are the most office injuries?

Overuse injuries

An overuse injury, such as repetitive  strain injury, is probably the most common you can sustain in an office environment. Like many office injuries, this is not something that will happen suddenly, but rather built up over time. Not only can this make them harder to notice at first, but can also mean that the injury will be harder to cure.

Repetitive strain injuries most commonly affect parts of the upper body, as this is what is used most when sitting at a desk. The hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders are the areas usually affected, with typing the most common cause. To prevent repetitive strain injuries, try to type lightly and take regular breaks where you don’t use your wrists and hands. It also helps to stretch and relax your arms to avoid injury.

Eyesight problems

Using a computer all day can have a serious effect on your eyes, as a lack of natural light combined with close proximity to a computer monitor can do some real damage. This can result in headaches, blurred vision and painful eyes. Problems are usually short-term, but they can still cause a lot of discomfort and pain. Issues are usually caused by a poorly set up work station, so there are steps you can take to prevent them.

Try to avoid natural light coming in from behind the monitor, as this will cause you to strain your eyes, and avoid sitting too close to the monitor. It also helps to place your monitor slightly below your eye line, and take time to look at objects in the distance to give your eyes a break.

Back problems

Another common problem that office workers experience is back problems caused by poor posture as a result of sitting at a desk all day. Like repetitive strain injuries, back problems are caused over a long period of time and can be difficult to cure.

If you think you are having problems, it’s a good idea to tell your employer as they will be able to make improvements to your work station. Having your work area set up ergonomically, such as using a suitable desk chair or using a foot rest will help prevent back problems. It’s also a good idea to take regular breaks, so your back isn’t in one position for too long.

If you have suffered an office related injury why not visit for some free advice.