If a chromium-related illness has set you back, we'll help you move forward

Chromium is a known carcinogen that is used in certain industrial work environments.

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by chromium related illness, we can help. If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

You can make a No Win, No Fee compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

What is chromium?

Chromium is a naturally occurring element found in rocks, dust, gases, plants and soil. It comes in various forms which are described by numbers in parentheses. Many types of chromium, such as Chromium (III), are benign and do not pose a risk to health.

Other chromium compounds are known to be toxic. Chromium (VI), for example, presents a significant risk to health as it is both an irritant, a corrosive and a carcinogen. Inhaled or ingested, chromium (VI) can cause breathing difficulties, lung irritations and, possibly, lung cancer.

You are not alone

Chromium is user in a wide range of industrial process, but workers in manufacturing, welding, chrome plating and construction (chromium is used in cement) are particularly a risk.

Even a single exposure to chromium can lead to health complications, and exposure may cause occupational asthma in sensitised individuals (gov.uk).

Anyone who has suffered a chromium-related illness after being exposed to chromium compounds at work may be eligible make a claim against their employer.

If you are looking for information on lung disease symptoms and treatment, visit: lung health check (nhs.uk).

Do I qualify for chromium-related illness compensation?

You will usually be eligible to claim compensation if you have been injured in the following circumstances:

  • in the last 3 years,
  • by someone elses actions or negligence, and
  • they owed you a duty of care.

Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.

What happens if I share some of the blame?

Figuring out who is legally at fault for an accident can sometimes be complex and nuanced.

According to our recent 2024 Work Injury Claimant Survey, 26.02% of injured workers thought that their actions could have contributed, either in part or wholly, to their injuries.

Even if you think you might have been partly responsible, you could still be eligible to make a claim. With workplace injuries, it's often possible to claim compensation from your employer, regardless of whether your own actions or those of a colleague played a role in the incident.

Read more:

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

How long do I have to claim chromium-related illness compensation?

For most injury claims, you have up to 3 years from the date of your injury to start the claims process.

If you were not immediately aware that you were harmed by someone else's negligence, the 3-year time limit runs from the date you were diagnosed and became aware of what caused your injury or illness.

How much compensation can I claim for a chromium-related illness?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the seriousness of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

Chromium-related illness compensation calculator

Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.

Updated June 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College (judiciary.uk) and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

Special damages

Special damages is compensation awarded to cover any financial losses and expenses you incur as a result of your illlness or negligent medical treatment. These damages aim to put you back in the financial position you would have been in, had your injury not occurred.

Special damages will also cover your medical treatment expenses, that might include removal from exposure, medication for symptoms, supportive care and monitoring.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

Average chromium-related illness general damages compensation

The following chromium-related illness payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Sixteenth Edition by the Judicial College (oup.com).

These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.

Please note: these average figures represent general damages only, and do not include any element of special damages (e.g. lost wages).

Example Amount
Asthma
Bronchitis and wheezing £17,450 to £23,900
Eye injury
Minor but permanent loss of vision in one or both eyes £8,280 to £19,070
Lung disease
Short-term aggravation of bronchitis or other chest infection Up to £4,840
Non-permanent lung conditions Up to £4,840
Slight breathlessness recovery in a few years £9,670 to £18,910
Bronchitis and wheezing £18,910 to £28,460
Emphysema £49,850 to £63,660
Breathing difficulties needing use of an inhaler £28,460 to £49,850
Lung cancer causing severe pain and impairment £63,660 to £88,480

Who is at risk of contracting a chromium-related illness?

The health effects of chromium exposure are varied because each compound has a different toxicity. Chromium (VI) presents the biggest risk as it can be inhaled or ingested, especially if food is consumed in chromium-contaminated areas. All chromium compounds can be absorbed through the skin.

Workers in industries that use chromium may have a higher level of exposure and thus have a greater risk of developing a chromium-related illnesses. High-risk industries include:

  • Chromium plating
  • Spray painting
  • Chemical manufacture
  • Dyeing and tanning
  • Stainless steel and alloy manufacture.

This list is not exhaustive. Anyone exposed to chromium, including members of the public who come into contact with chromium after a spillage, may be eligible to make a compensation claim.

Health problems associated with chromium

Low levels of chromium do not usually produce any obvious symptoms. Heavy or prolonged exposure may lead to a number of health problems, including:

  • Dermatitis
  • Occupational asthma
  • Inflammation of the nose and upper respiratory tract
  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Bronchitis
  • Renal damage
  • Lung diseases and lung cancer.

Your solicitor will arrange an independent medical examination to assess the severity of your injury. This report will be used as a basis for the compensation claim.

Is my employer liable?

Any employer who uses chromium is required to follow the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH). COSHH places legal obligations on employers to control exposure to hazardous substances with a view to minimising the impact they might have on a worker's health. With specific reference to chromium, an employer must:

  • Carry out air emissions tests to confirm whether chromium species are formed as a result of work activities.
  • Keep exposure within the maximum exposure limits (MEL) specified by law for each type of compound. For Chromium (VI), MEL is defined as 0.05mg/m3 averaged over an 8 hour working day.
  • Take such other protective measures as are necessary. For example, an employer might install extraction systems, use chemical spray suppressants at plating baths or issue personal protective equipment such as masks and breathing apparatus.
  • Train employees in the proper use of safety measures.

An employer who fails in their duty to protect staff from chromium exposure may be liable for any illness that arises as a result.

Employers' liability claims claims

Work-related illness claims are also known as employers' liability claims. Click on the icons below for more information:

No win, no fee chromium-related illness compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim chromium-related illness compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

Get expert advice now

Interested in talking to an injury specialist about your claim?

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Call 0800 376 1001

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Citations

Source: (reviewed: 10/12/2023)

Source: (reviewed: 11/12/2023)

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Author:
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor