Chromium-related illness compensation claims
In the following guide we explain everything you must know about making a successful chromium-related illness compensation claim.
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.
Industrial exposure to chromium falls within the category of hazardous substances compensation claims. 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 have been injured in the last three years and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.
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.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
Low levels of chromium are typically removed by the body and may not produce any obvious symptoms. Acute exposure may lead to a number of health problems, including:
- Occupational asthma
- Inflammation of the nose and upper respiratory tract
- Coughing and wheezing
- Renal damage
- Lung diseases and lung cancer.
As a preliminary step, the injury lawyer will arrange an independent medical examination to assess whether chromium is present in the body and to establish the level of damage. The medical expert will also recommend any palliative care that is needed such as mechanical ventilation and cardiovascular support.
The medical report is used as a basis for the compensation claim.
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.
A no win no fee agreement (also called a CFA or Conditional Fee Agreement) is entered into between a claimant and a PI solicitor.
The CFA is basically the terms under which the solicitor represents the claimant.
It outlines what the solicitors will do as well as how he will be rewarded if your claim is won.
If you use our solicitors for your chromium illness claim there will be no extra costs in the terms and conditions , nothing to pay up-front and the reassurance that you will not be out of pocket.
The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our personal injury compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.
The nationwide network of Quittance solicitors help injured people with all types of personal injury claims, from fast track cases to long-term injuries. Our solicitors are chosen for their knowledge and expertise and their track record in winning claims.
About the author
Paul is a member of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel, a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, and has served as a Deputy District Judge, giving him a uniquely broad understanding of the claims process.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert