Industrial Disease and Illness at Work

For free legal advice call our Trade Union Solicitors and we will help you.

Call us on 0808 239 0144

We have a long history of acting for Trade Unions to help them achieve improvements in working conditions for their members.

Our specialist Solicitors, working with Trade Unions, have extensive experience of advising and acting in matters concerning illness and industrial disease caused by workplace exposures. We are recommended in both the Legal 500 and in Chambers & Partners' "Best of the UK". We regularly offer representation in multiple and ground-breaking cases.

We know these cases are emotive so we’ll be efficient yet sympathetic to members’ needs.

And we’ll act quickly, with a determination to make those responsible pay for the illness or disease they have caused through work; even if they’re no longer in business.

Our Solicitors will also advise members on their entitlements to state benefits and where they can get help from local charities and support groups.

Members needs will come first in pursuing a disease or illness at work claim so that they get the justice and compensation they deserve.

Just be sure to contact us first, and we can then start to assess the member’s claim and advise what to do next.                                     

Call our Trade Union Solicitors on 0808 258 3531 or request a callback

*BALPA members should contact BALPA directly on 0208 476 4000.

** ISU members should contact our helpline directly on 0808 129 3316.

*** CWU and GMB members should call Unionline on 0300 333 0303.

More Information on Industrial Disease

An occupational or industrial disease is any illness caused or made worse by the sufferer’s work. Many industries are particularly high-risk, such as engineering, construction and metal/foundry working.

The most common industrial illnesses are those that cause breathing difficulties, and include:

    • Mesothelioma
    • Asbestosis
    • Pleural thickening
    • Work-related Asthma.

However, there are other common industrial illnesses including:

    • Dermatitis
    • Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome/vibration white finger
    • Noise-induced hearing loss/industrial deafness and tinnitus
    • Silicosis
    • Tennis elbow.

Rarer, but still valid, industrial claims also arise from exposure to lesser-known dangerous substances in the workplace, such as benzidine or nitro glycerine poisoning.

Of course, many of the symptoms of these conditions take time to become apparent. Work-related deafness, for instance, can take years to become noticeable, as can an asbestos-related disease.

Then there’s the possibility that the company responsible has stopped trading. So you might wonder what you can do to put things right - and that’s where our specialist Industrial Disease Solicitors come in.

We’re experts at tracing those responsible and maintain a database of companies and their insurers to help our investigations.

We do our utmost to handle all our industrial disease and illness claims sensitively and get the best outcomes for our clients, the Union members.

Rehabilitation and other support offered

When necessary, we’ll visit your member in their own home and give them clear and sympathetic advice regarding their workplace illness claim.

We also maintain links with patient organisations, charities and consultants, so we can refer clients to organisations dedicated to helping them live with life changing conditions.

Funding your case

Claims can often be funded through a No Win, No Fee agreement - ask us for details.


Our Solicitors are highly ranked in the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners. We are nationally recognised for our expertise, ability to tailor our services to our clients' needs, and determination to achieve results.

Chambers and Partners 2017

"Nationwide firm with a well-regarded London team representing trade unions and employees. Areas of specialism include severance negotiations, wrongful dismissal and equal pay disputes."

"Described by sources as 'polite, friendly, and an excellent lawyer,' Joy Drummond specialises in equal opportunities employment law, including indirect discrimination and equal pay. A client reports: 'She kept me in the loop and was fighting my corner. She gave me fantastic support and confidence that I was getting the best outcome.'"

Diversity in Business Accreditation

Simpson Millar was the first law firm to achieve the Diversity In Business Accreditation (Excellence) (DiBA). This accreditation shows that the principles of equality and diversity are firmly embedded right across all of our business activities.

Investors in People – Bronze

Simpson Millar has held the Investors in People (IIP) accreditation since 2000. The standard provides straightforward, proven frameworks for delivering business improvement through people.

Lexcel Quality Mark

Like Investors in People, Lexcel is also a business improvement accreditation by the Law Society, showing that we have good policies and procedures in place. We were the first legal practice to achieve this accreditation, and we’ve held the award since 1998.

Call us on 08002605010 or request a callback

*BALPA members should contact BALPA directly on 0208 476 4000.

** ISU members should contact our helpline directly on 0808 129 3316.

*** CWU and GMB members should call Unionline on 0300 333 0303.

Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.