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Agricultural Industrial Disease Claims

Illnesses caused by high level of noise

Agricultural environments can at times produce a large degree of noise, whether it stems from equipment or machinery, with decibels in certain types of farm often exceeding what is accepted as within the parameters of safety.

Therefore, it is essential that employees are afforded ear protectors and any other specialised equipment recommended to guard against the very real prospect of tinnitus or more permanent hearing loss; which can manifest over a period of time due to high noise levels.

Prolonged exposure to excessive noise in agricultural environments, such as that produced by certain machinery like choppers, grain dryers, tractors and combines, can cause permanent hearing loss if noise control measures are not taken. There are two warning signs which the ears provide for overexposure, which are temporary threshold shift and ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

If you are or were continually exposed to loud noises, and feel that you may have suffered an illness due to the high level of noise at your workplace, you may be able to claim compensation.

Illnesses caused by exposure to dust

Grain dust

The dust produced from the harvesting, handling, processing and storing of substances such as oats, wheat, barley, maize etc. is recognised as grain dust, it also includes any contaminants within the dust such as bacteria, insects/insect debris, pesticide residues etc.

Respiratory disease is an illness that affects the lungs and breathing tubes, it can be a major occupational health risk. Hence why the law requires employers to adequately control exposure to materials in the workplace that can cause ill health. This includes controlling employee’s exposure to grain dust or considering the health risks.

Effects of exposure to dust

Respiratory disease: The respiratory system includes the lungs, mouth, nose and the tubes which connect them. Occupational respiratory disease is a medical term used to define diseases triggered or made worse by something that you inhale while at work, in this instance, grain dust.

Occupational asthma: Some occupational respiratory diseases affect the airways. Occupational asthma is caused by an allergy to something in the workplace. Exposure to grain dusts can also worsen symptoms in people who already have asthma. Occupational asthma usually takes several months or even years to develop.

Eye and skin effects: Eye and skin irritation are common reactions to grain dust exposure. It includes symptoms such as watery eyes (conjunctivitis), skin rashes and itchy skin.

Respiratory effects: Some possible ill health outcomes include:

  • Rhinitis
  • Coughing and breathing difficulties
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Extrinsic allergic alveolitis, for example farmer’s lung (fever, cough, increasing shortness of breath, muscle/joint pains)
  • Organic dust toxic syndrome – (grain fever).

Illnesses caused by vibrating farm tools

Frequent or continued use of vibrating tools such as brush cutters, chainsaws or grinders can lead to hand-arm vibration syndrome as well as a group of linked diseases including vibration white finger, nerve, muscle or joint damage.

Agricultural occupations frequently require the use of a selection of tools which can eventually cause Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome. Sufferers usually complain of anything from numbness and tingling in the fingers and muscle weakness to a range of aches and pains consistent with repetitive strain injuries as the conditions cited have a recurrent tendency to affect both vascular and musculoskeletal areas of the anatomy.

Whole-body vibration is the vibration and shock one feels when sat or stood on a vehicle or machine traveling over rough ground or along a track, or the vibration when near powerful machinery. Shocks can also occur when driving over bumps or potholes. Exposure to Whole body vibration at low levels is unlikely on its own to cause back pain, however it can aggravate existing injuries to the back which may cause pain.

Contact Grieves Solicitors

You can get in touch with our personal injury specialists by calling 0800 0747 644, or give us details of your situation and injuries by completing our online contact form and a member of our team will get back to you.

We will provide a no-obligation assessment of your potential farm accident claim, and a fast, efficient and friendly legal service, helping you gain the compensation you deserve.