Dermatitis is a skin condition that can be sparked by the working conditions in a variety of industries; dermatitis literally means ‘inflammation of the skin’ and is also known as eczema. If you believe your skin condition has been caused by the environment at work, you may have grounds to make an industrial dermatitis claim.
Industrial dermatitis can be caused by exposure to dust, chemicals, enzymes, coolants, dyes, oils, fungi and even water in workplaces as diverse as kitchens, hospital, workshops, factories, print shops, engineering workshops, hairdressers, and even working out on the land in agriculture.
Your employer has a duty of care and legal obligation to protect your health and safety in the workplace. If your employer fails to provide you with the correct protective clothing and you contract dermatitis while at work, you will be likely to have grounds to make a claim for industrial dermatitis. Even if you were already suffering from this skin disease and your working conditions made it worse, you may still be able to pursue a claim.
Dermatitis can be debilitating and also cause personal embarrassment. If the condition becomes so serious that the skin becomes cracked and bleeds, it can lead to infection; also, as the condition can look ugly, many sufferers will cover up the areas affected, such as the arms, while out in public.
To be able to make a successful claim you will have to prove that your dermatitis was caused, or was made worse, by conditions at work. This is because the disease can be suffered by children – though it may improve as they get older – and adults. As an employee, you have a responsibility to wear any protective clothing supplied, such as gloves and overalls, and to utilise any barriers that are in place, such as extractors and splash guards.
If you suspect that the dermatitis has been caused or has worsened because of working conditions and want to make an industrial dermatitis claim, it is advisable to seek legal advice. Our specialist legal team here at Accident Advice Helpline is experienced in dealing with claims for industrial dermatitis. The initial consultation is free and if we feel you have a strong case for a claim then we will provide ‘no win, no fee’* representation.
If we are to provide you with assistance and representation for your industrial dermatitis claim, there are ways in which you can help us help you. One of these ways is seeing your doctor for a thorough examination of your dermatitis. The doctor’s medical report, in conjunction with our team of medical experts, will help us to build your case. Any evidence about your working conditions, including witness statements from workmates and colleagues, will also assist us.
An ideal situation is where your employer admits liability and makes a compensation offer that is acceptable to you. If the offer is not acceptable, such as if the figure is too low or if liability is denied, we will provide legal representation when the claim goes to court. Call us free on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone for free, no obligation advice about making a claim.
Date Published: October 14, 2013
Author: David Brown