Hydrocarbons are organic compounds found in adhesives, petroleum products and paint thinners. They emit strong fumes and are potentially lethal if directly inhaled or ingested.
Workers at risk of hydrocarbon poisoning include those involved in the paint industry, motor industry or oil industry. But hydrocarbons are present in cleaning fluids, solvents and refrigerants and aerosol products, meaning exposure to hydrocarbons in the workplace can be accidental if products are inhaled or swallowed.
It is essential workers are protected from hydrocarbon poisoning by storing products correctly in clearly marked containers – and ensuring optimal ventilation in the workplace when hydrocarbons are being used (eg in car spraying workshops).
Hydrocarbon poisoning symptoms and injuries include:
In cases of severe hydrocarbon poisoning– as with toluene products – permanent brain injury may occur, including catastrophic injury (paraplegia, quadiplegia) or even death.
Lung irritation from swallowing hydrocarbons may result in pneumonia (chemical pneumonitis), which is a particular hazard with runny or free flowing hydrocarbon products, which are easily ingested or swallowed. In these cases, antibiotics may be used to clear infection.
Hydrocarbon poisoning is initially diagnosed by the smell of work clothing – but chest X-ray and blood tests to assess the amount of oxygen in the blood (arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis) are also used in diagnosing hydrocarbon poisoning in the workplace. In severe cases, patients may be placed on a ventilator in hospital and oxygenated.
Duncan Lewis Industrial Claims Solicitors can advise workers who have suffered injury as a result of exposure to chemicals at work on how to make no win no fee hydrocarbon poisoning claims for compensation, if an employer has failed to protect workers from exposure to hydrocarbon products under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002.
Workers who have been diagnosed with hydrocarbon poisoning have three years from the date of diagnosis of injury in which to make a no win no fee industrial disease claim.
Duncan Lewis industrial claims solicitors can also advise bereaved families whose loved one has died as a result of hydrocarbon poisoning at work on how to make no win no fee compensation claim – including if the cause of death at post-mortem was found to be as a result of exposure to hydrocarbons in the workplace.
Duncan Lewis industrial claims solicitors are leading firm of no win no fee lawyers and can advise victims of industrial diseases and their families on how to make hydrocarbon poisoning claims – including historic cases where a disease or degenerative condition cause by exposure to hydrocarbons at work has been diagnosed years later.
Duncan Lewis industrial claims solicitors employ medical experts in industrial diseases if it is necessary to prove a link between a claimant having worked with hydrocarbons and being diagnosed with diseases and conditions caused by hydrocarbon poisoning.
Because of the limitation period for making claims for exposure to hydrocarbons at work, Duncan Lewis industrial claims solicitors advise claimants to get in touch as soon as possible after diagnosis to discuss making a compensation claim for hydrocarbon poisoning.
For expert legal advice on no win no fee Hydrocarbon Poisoning Claims call Duncan Lewis Industrial Claims Solicitors on 020 7923 4020.