Occupational Disease is an ailment or disease that is contracted as a result of a person's work or occupational activity.
Occupational diseases are generally identified by the increased prevalence of a disease amongst a specific occupational group over that seen in the general population.
Many countries operate a 'workers compensation scheme' to oversee occupational diseases.
The UK does not operate such a scheme but instead has the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) which provides the framework of guidance under which employers are required to operate whilst safeguarding the welfare and health of employees.
Occupational diseases are generally preventable with the modification of workplace environments or with the provision of suitable equipment, training, supervision and clothing.
A failure on the part of an employer to adequately protect his employees from the possibility of an occupational disease can be investigated by the HSE and prosecution can follow.
Employees affected by occupational diseases are also able to claim compensation if they are able to prove that their employers have been negligent with regard to their duty of care to their workforce or that they have breached a statutory duty.Learn more
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