Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 5:21 EDT

Fentons Settles Fourth ‘isocyanate’ Asthma Case Against Same Employer

January 17, 2013

LONDON, January 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –

A fourth occupational asthma claim
[http://www.fentons.co.uk/industrial-disease-claims/occupational-asthma-claims ] in three
years against the same plastics manufacturing firm has been settled by Fentons Solicitors
LLP, after employees developed occupational asthma because they were exposed to the
chemical, ‘isocyanate’.

John Gibney, a member of the specialist Industrial Disease Claims
[http://www.fentons.co.uk/industrial-disease-claims/2794 ] team at Fentons, said that his
client’s case was just the latest where an employee of the plastics firm had developed the
condition, and said he fears that there may be even more workers who have been affected
who have yet to come forward.

“This latest case, which we settled for GBP10,000, involved a PVC panel maker who has
been affected by the isocyanate when a machine he was using had not been fitted with a
fumes extractor,” said John, a solicitor with Fentons’ Manchester office. “Even when the
extraction unit was later fitted, his symptoms continued and it transpired that the
extractor was inadequate and the filter inside was not cleaned on a regular basis as it
should have been. Our client was also not provided with adequate respiratory protection.

“After he was moved to a different department his condition has improved, but his
lungs are still not recovered from the exposure.”

John explained that whilst isocyanate was commonly used in industry, it could affect
the lungs if precautionary measures such as filtering, appropriate respiratory protection
and appropriate ventilation were not applied.

“My colleagues in the Industrial Disease team have dealt with a significant number of
these cases from across the country in the last few years, but the fact that this is the
fourth claimant to have been exposed at the same plastics manufacturing firm is clearly a
cause for concern,” he said.

“All employers owe a duty of care to their workforce, but that is particularly
important when dealing with chemicals that can so adversely affect a person’s ability to
breathe. Thankfully my client’s symptoms subsided once he had moved to a different
department, but people need to be more aware of the dangers of being exposed to such
chemicals,” he said,

Occupational asthma is characterised by shortness of breath and wheezing, with around
90 per cent of victims suffering what is known as ‘hypersensitivity-induced’ asthma, the
remaining 10 per cent suffering from ‘irritant-induced’ asthma or reactive airways
dysfunction syndrome (RADS).

“Regardless of the type of asthma, the symptoms are distressing and unpleasant for
victims,” said John. “Chronic inflammation of the air passages causes a swelling and
narrowing of the air passages, leading the victim to suffer breathlessness,” he said.
“Symptoms vary depending on the level of exposure and type of asthma, but mainly they will
include coughing, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, wheezing and difficulty

“I would urge anyone who suffers these symptoms to make an appointment with their
doctor immediately, and to also consider whether they might have been exposed to chemicals
that could have triggered their condition.”

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of
industrial diseases [http://www.fentons.co.uk/page_road_traffic_accident_claim_17.asp ]
including occupational asthma.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on
+44(0)800-0191-297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire
[http://www.fentons.co.uk/claimsquest.asp ].

SOURCE Fentons

Source: PR Newswire