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Work Dermatitis Claim

Work Dermatitis Injury

The skin injury which is most frequently overlooked in health and safety procedures in the workplace is dermatitis even though, in extreme cases, it can be just as painful as a burn, scald or laceration. As it quite often takes a lengthy exposure to the irritating agent in order to develop the complaint, it can take an equally lengthy period of time for the work dermatitis injury to heal – and when the irritating agent is water, it could easily mean the end of somebody’s career.

Work dermatitis injury in the UK is such a problem that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) dedicate a considerable number of pages on its web site to the APC (Avoid, Protect, Check) Approach. Its recommendations for preventing employees sustaining a UK work dermatitis injury apply to all industries, but special care should be taken if you are employed in catering, printing, hairdressing, dentistry, motor vehicle repair or construction.

Qualifying for a Work Dermatitis Claim

For a work dermatitis claim to be successful, you must first have sustained an avoidable injury, and it must have been caused by your employer’s negligence or lack of care. Employers can counter-claim that you contributed to your work dermatitis injury by your own lack of care, or even that the condition was brought about by the substances you use in your home.

Therefore, even though people react to contact with different substances in different ways, if colleagues have suffered the same condition as you or can support your work dermatitis claim with evidence of other areas where your employer may be negligent, your claim for work dermatitis injury has a greater chance of being settled without the need for court action.

Before Making a Work Dermatitis Claim

At the first signs of a work dermatitis injury, seek professional medical advice. An early diagnosis can prevent much more painful symptoms at a later date and no amount of compensation will make up for a permanent skin condition which could have been avoided with timely medical intervention. Your GP should be able to confirm the connection between your work dermatitis injury and the irritants used in your workplace and prescribe medication to reduce the inflammation and itchiness.

  • Details of a work dermatitis injury should be recorded in your employer’s “Accident Report Book” and reported to the HSE for them to investigate. Some employers fail to take the initiative in reporting work dermatitis injuries, so ensure that you have a copy of the entry in the “Accident Report Book” – both in order for you to report the work dermatitis injury to the HSE and for your solicitor to use in building your work dermatitis claim.
  • As mentioned above, you should speak with colleagues and workmates to see if they have experienced the symptoms of a work dermatitis injury, or if they know of anybody else who has. If they are unable to help you, this does not necessarily handicap your work dermatitis claim as it is the employer´s failure to adhere to health and safety legislation which will be the deciding factor.
  • You should also make it a priority to speak with a solicitor. A solicitor will first advise you to stop using the irritants causing the work dermatitis injury and, although this is probably the exact same advice as you heard from your doctor (and family and friends), the solicitor will have a very different motive for providing this advice. If you continue to work in an environment which is already causing you harm, your employer could claim that you aggravated the condition by your own negligence and claim contributory negligence – reducing the value of your work dermatitis claim.

Free Work Dermatitis Claim Advice

There are many different types of work dermatitis injury and each will have unique consequences to the individual´s health and quality of life. This is why it is best to avoid the well-meaning but often conflicting advice of family and friends and discuss your personal work dermatitis claim with a solicitor. A solicitor will be able to offer helpful and impartial advice about your work dermatitis claim including whether you have a claim for work dermatitis injury which it is worth your while to pursue.

In order to help people seeking advice about a work dermatitis claim we have established a free work injury claims advice service, which you are welcome to call if you believe that you have developed a work dermatitis injury due to the “lack of care” of an employer. Our lines are open from 8.00am to 10.00pm seven days a week, and all calls to our free work injury claim advice service are completely confidential. Please note that by using this service you are not obligated to proceed with a claim for work dermatitis injury.