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Industrial disease compensation

Industrial disease claims solicitors

If you, or a member of your family, has been diagnosed with an industrial disease, such as mesothelioma, our solicitors are experts in seeking compensation on your behalf. We are here to advise and support you and your family throughout the industrial disease claims process and beyond.

Meet our industrial disease experts

Many of our industrial disease solicitors are considered leaders in the field with a significant amount of expertise.

Madelene Holdsworth, our Managing Director of Specialist Legal Services

Madelene Holdsworth

Principal Lawyer

Jordan Bell, our Head of Industrial Disease

Jordan Bell

Head of Industrial Disease

John Browne

Head of Industrial Disease for Wales and the South West

Pauline Chandler

Principal Lawyer

One of the UK’s leading specialist law firms.

We are proud to have partnerships with national charities and be recognised in the latest legal directories.

HASAG Asbestos disease support
Asbestos Awareness and Support Cymru
The times best law firms 2023
The legal 500
Association of Personal Injury Lawyers: APIL

We are here to help

Developing an industrial disease, also known as an occupational disease or workplace illness, can have devastating effects on sufferers and their families. Navigating the complexities of these types of claims can be overwhelming and confusing.

As a specialised area of law, it is crucial to have a solicitor with expert knowledge to ensure a successful claim, which is why our skilled solicitors are here to provide support and guidance throughout the entire process. We have a reputation for excellence and have achieved numerous accolades in the legal industry for our work on behalf of individuals and families affected by workplace illnesses.

Our accomplished team of specialised industrial disease solicitors are dedicated to fighting for justice on behalf of our clients and will guide you through the legal process with compassion, expertise, and unwavering commitment.

What is an industrial disease?

Industrial disease refers to a health condition or illness that arises due to exposure to hazards or risks in the workplace. It is typically associated with specific industries or occupations where workers are exposed to certain substances, processes, or working conditions that can have detrimental effects on health over time. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, your employer has a duty of care to you as an employee and must protect you from any health risks in the workplace.

If your employment has caused you to develop an illness, then you may be able to claim industrial disease compensation. Even if you no longer work at the place where your illness developed, you can still make a claim, subject to your solicitor being able to obtain evidence linking your illness to the work that you did during your previous employment.

Types of industrial illnesses and diseases

Industrial diseases can be caused in various ways, depending on the nature of the exposure and the specific hazards involved. We have successfully pursued claims for, but not limited to, the following workplace illnesses:

  • Mesothelioma: A form of cancer caused by breathing in asbestos dust. The average time for mesothelioma to develop after exposure to asbestos dust is around 40 years, but it can develop after 10 years from the initial exposure.
  • Asbestosis and Pleural Thickening: Lung conditions caused by exposure to asbestos fibres, commonly found in construction, shipbuilding, and insulation industries. Inhaling asbestos particles can lead to scarring of lung tissue and the lining of the lungs, which in turn causes breathing difficulties.
  • Silicosis: A lung disease caused by inhaling crystalline silica dust, common in industries such sandblasting, stone masonry, construction, demolition, ceramics, and glass making. Prolonged exposure can cause inflammation and scarring of lung tissue, leading to breathing difficulties and an increased risk of lung infections.
  • Occupational dermatitis: Exposure to irritating substances or allergens in the workplace, such as chemicals or solvents, can lead to skin conditions.
  • Occupational asthma, respiratory injuries and lung disease: Exposure to dust or fumes containing irritants can cause occupational asthma, COPD, pneumonitis and other illnesses affecting the lungs.

This is not an exhaustive list. Whatever the nature of your workplace illness, our team of expert industrial disease solicitors are specialised in this area of law and will help get you the compensation you deserve for your injury.

How to make an industrial disease claim

We understand the difficulties those suffering with an occupational disease can face and how daunting the industrial illness claims process may seem.

  1. To make a claim, your first step is to contact one of our specialist industrial disease solicitors, who will explain the claim procedure and advise you in relation to our No Win No Fee funding agreements.
  2. We will then take a statement from you in connection with your illness, including your diagnosis, symptoms, and the effects your illness has on your everyday life. We will also take full details of your work history and how your work has caused your illness to develop.
  3. We will then notify the defendant company or their insurer of your diagnosis and why they are responsible to pay compensation for your development of your workplace illness.
  4. With your permission, we will obtain and review your medical records and arrange for you to see a medical expert who specialises in your illness, who will then prepare a report formally confirming your diagnosis and if appropriate, linking your diagnosis to your employment history. In some cases, for example mesothelioma and other cancer claims, it will rarely be necessary for you to be examined in person for the purposes of obtaining a medical report in support of your case.
  5. Once we have the necessary evidence, we will work out how much compensation you should receive and seek to open negotiations to reach the settlement you deserve.
  6. If necessary, for example if your employer refuses to admit liability or fails to make a reasonable offer to settle your claim, we will commence court proceedings on your behalf to secure the justice that you seek.

Sam Ingram: Living with Mesothelioma

Being told he only had one year to live was harrowing, but Sam Ingram is still living his life as best as he can with a Mesothelioma diagnosis. Here Sam shares his story, showing how he lives with the disease and how he remains positive.

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We would highly recommend Slater and Gordon solicitors especially Pauline Chandler and her team. After my husband was diagnosed with mesothelioma Pauline and her team took over his claim for compensation. They dealt with us with compassion and empathy at a very difficult time. Nothing was too much trouble and any emails or phone calls were dealt with promptly, from start to finish they kept us informed. The outcome was beyond our expectations and was proof of the hard work that had been put in. Client testimonial (for Pauline Chandler)
Client testimonial (for Pauline Chandler)
I would highly recommend Slater & Gordon Lawyers and especially John Browne. My Dad become ill with mesothelioma in 2020 and sadly died in September 2020. This case was a complicated one and John dealt with the various problems with speed and efficiency, explaining everything to me in detail. I shall always remember his kindness and empathy and the way he guided me through that terrible time with such compassion resulting in a substantial settlement for my Mum. Client testimonial (for John Browne)
Client testimonial (for John Browne)

Contact one of our industrial disease experts today

Call us now on:   0330 041 5869

What is the time limit to make an industrial disease claim?

With industrial disease claims, you have a three-year timeframe to make a claim starting from either the date of your diagnosis or the date when you actually became or could have become aware that your symptoms could be linked to your employment. This three-year period is called your “limitation period”.

When you became or could have become aware of the link between your symptoms and your employment is known as your “this date” and court proceedings must be commenced within three years of your date of knowledge. It can take time to thoroughly investigate a claim for an industrial disease, which means that you should always contact one of our specialist solicitors as soon as possible after you receive a diagnosis of a workplace illness.

If a loved one has died from a workplace illness, you may have three years from the date of their death to make a claim for compensation but please do not delay contacting one of our lawyers who will be able to advise you in full in relation to your specific date of knowledge and limitation period. We have helped many people with industrial disease claims after losing a loved one.

How long does an industrial disease claim take to conclude?

The length of an industrial disease claim can vary significantly depending on various factors, including the complexity of the claim, availability of evidence, and the cooperation of those involved. Some claims can take between 12-18 months, whilst others can take several years to reach a settlement. Our team will keep you updated as your claim progresses. No matter the situation, we will be by your side, working tirelessly to ensure you get the medical treatment and compensation you deserve.

Why choose us for your industrial disease claim?

Our roots are deeply ingrained in this field, having initially established ourselves as a specialist occupational disease firm and growing into an award-winning, multi-service provider, which sets us apart. One of our greatest strengths lies in the access to archives of past cases spanning over 40 years. By reaching out to them for a statement in support of your claim, we can expedite the settlement of your claim, ensuring a quicker resolution to your case.

In addition to our extensive archives, we offer the convenience of home visits for those who have developed asbestos-related conditions and other serious industrial diseases, including occupational cancers and life-limiting respiratory illnesses. We understand the importance of providing support during challenging times, and our dedicated team will visit you at a time that is convenient for you. We can often arrange a visit within just a few days of your initial inquiry.

We are proud to partner with numerous asbestos charities, organisations and support groups across the UK and undergo fundraising efforts throughout the year to help support victims, and families, living with an asbestos-related illness.

Our team comprises highly acclaimed lawyers who specialise in industrial disease law. Leading this practice is Jordan Bell, a Principal Lawyer, accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) as a specialist in asbestos claims and occupational diseases. He brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge to every case. His commitment to achieving justice for clients has seen him recognised in Chambers and Partners, an independent legal guide that ranks only the world’s leading law firms and lawyers.

Managing Director and Principal Lawyer, Madelene Holdsworth, also holds accreditations as an Asbestos Specialist and an Occupational Disease Specialist through APIL. She has been consistently recognised in prestigious legal guides, including Chambers and Partners, as well as a nomination for 'Lawyer of the Year' in the Modern Law Awards 2020.

Pauline Chandler, another prominent figure, is a leading individual in the 2023 Legal 500 rankings alongside also being ranked in Chambers and Partners. She has made significant contributions to asbestos-related disease and other workplace respiratory illness claims, leading on cases that have changed the law for asbestos victims which are now frequently relied on and referred to as precedents in other disease claim judgements.

Edmund Young is known for his innovative solutions and successfully challenged the calculation method for future losses in a landmark mesothelioma case, which was adopted by the Supreme Court. Additionally, John Browne, an esteemed and highly experience lawyer, also consistently receives recognition in the Legal 500.

If you’re suffering from an industrial disease, we urge you to get in contact with us online and we’ll endeavour to get you the compensation you deserve.

Talk to us about your case

Call us now on:   0330 041 5869

Why choose Slater and Gordon?


We are an award winning law firm and have a dedicated team of industrial disease solicitors to advise and guide you – no matter how complex your situation may be.

Affordability and advice

We're able to offer affordable expert legal advice and can provide guidance on all aspects of asbestos claims. Our Initial Consultation provides tailored advice on your situation giving you clear guidance and options regarding next steps.

Tailored advice

We understand that every claim is different – so we are able to provide tailored advice and guidance to suit your individual needs.

Local access

We are a national law firm, with legal experts available locally across the UK. Meetings can be arranged via telephone or video call, to suit your requirements.

Speak to one of our industrial disease experts today

Call us now on:   0330 041 5869

Frequently asked questions

Can you still make an industrial disease claim if the company is out of business?

Even if the company that caused your industrial disease is no longer trading, you can still make an industrial disease claim. We will research and find which insurers provided employers' liability insurance to the company at the time you worked there and will deal with the insurance company directly.

Is my employer responsible for my industrial illness?

If we can prove through appropriate and independent medical evidence that your illness was caused by your employer being negligent, then we will do all we can to recover compensation from your employer or their insurer.

Will I lose my job if I make an industrial disease claim against my employer?

It is against the law for your employer to terminate your employment if you were to raise a claim against them. Employers are legally obliged to have employers’ liability insurance to cover them for these types of cases.

How much compensation will I get in an industrial illness claim?

As each industrial illness claim is unique and will vary in severity, we can’t guarantee a set amount. In most cases, the more severe the illness, the more compensation can be claimed. As experts in this area of law, we’ll ensure you get the maximum amount for your claim.

Can I make a no win no fee industrial disease claim?

All our industrial disease claims are carried out under a No Win No Fee agreement, meaning if your case is lost, you won't have to pay any legal fees, so there’s no financial risk to you.

What industrial injuries benefits are there?

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) is a tax-free, non-means-tested benefit designed to support those who have experienced disabilities due to employer negligence. This benefit is not dependent on previous contributions and is available to eligible employees or those participating in an approved employment training program at the time of the injury.

Can you make an industrial disease claim for a deceased family member?

Yes, you can make an industrial disease claim for someone who has passed away due to a workplace illness. Please contact us as soon as possible so that we can advise you of the best next steps in order to investigate your claim.

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