Industrial Dermatitis Compensation Claims

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Could I Make A Compensation Claim For Industrial Dermatitis?

Dermatitis is an uncomfortable skin condition that can cause itchy, sore and flaky skin amongst other symptoms. Some people contract industrial dermatitis due to hazards in their workplace, such as coming into contact with dangerous substances. This short guide aims to focus on making industrial dermatitis claims following harm you sustained as a result of your employer’s negligence.

Our guide aims to help you understand whether you’re eligible to put forward an accident at work claim and seek compensation. In order to do so, we’ll explore the different criteria your claim must meet in order to hold validity.

Furthermore, we will provide information on the claims process and the evidence you may need to obtain in order to build a strong claim.

Industrial dermatitis

Industrial dermatitis claims guide

Although we have aimed to cover the information you need, you may still have questions after reading. If so, we can still provide you with the answers you need.

For more information on making an industrial disease claim, please get in touch with our team on the details below:

  • Telephone: 0800 073 8804
  • Online form: Fill out the online contact form with your query.
  • Live chat: Speak with an advisor using the function below.

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What Is Industrial Dermatitis?

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), occupational or contact dermatitis affect around 84,000 people that have had their condition caused or made worse by their workplace. Furthermore, the food and catering industries account for around 10% of this estimated figure.

There are two types of dermatitis:

  • Allergic contact dermatitis: This might be caused by exposure to a substance that you’re allergic to. For instance, ingredients in cosmetic products, some strong glues or certain plants.
  • Irritant contact dermatitis: This may be caused by being frequently exposed to irritants such as soap or detergent. Also, it could occur after exposure to a stronger irritant for a short period of time.

In some cases, you may be able to make a claim for occupational dermatitis. However, in order to do so, you need to prove that the condition was caused by your employer acting negligently. An employer may have acted negligently if they breached the duty of care they owe you resulting in you sustaining harm.

Is There A Time Limit For Making An Industrial Dermatitis Claim?

You need to begin your claim for industrial dermatitis within the time limit set out in the Limitation Act 1980.

The Act states that you have three years from the date the incident occurred. Alternatively, the three years may start from the date you became aware that your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence or that their negligence contributed to your injuries.

However, there are certain exceptions that may apply to your case. For example, the time limit may vary if someone is under the age of 18 or if someone lacks the mental capacity to claim on their own behalf.

Call our team for more information.

How Do I Prove Negligence For My Claim?

As discussed, your claim must meet certain criteria in order to hold validity. These include:

  • That you were owed a duty of care
  • That someone breached this duty of care
  • You sustained harm as a result

All employers have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to prevent you from experiencing harm at work. The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 sets out general duties for employers to adhere to.

However, in some cases, your employer might fail to uphold their duty of care causing you to sustain harm at work.

There are certain steps you can take to build a strong case to prove that your employer breached their duty of care, such as:

  • Gather evidence: This might include an accident at work report, witness contact details or pictures of the harm you sustained. Furthermore, you could provide medical evidence such as records from your doctor detailing the diagnosis and treatment you received.
  • Speak to a solicitor: Seeking legal advice from an experienced solicitor could be beneficial. They could help you gather relevant evidence to support your claim. Additionally, they could arrange for you to attend an independent medical assessment in your local area. The assessment could produce a detailed report on the current state of your condition.

For more information on the steps you can take to make an industrial dermatitis claim, call our team on the number above.

Which Treatment Is Best For Dermatitis?

As we are not medical professionals we cannot provide advice on the treatment you would need following an outbreak of contact dermatitis. What we can say though it is always important to seek medical attention from a trained professional if you have any concerns about your health.

We at Legal Expert can offer to value your case for you. This comes with no obligation to use our services. Our advisors can evaluate your claim and any evidence you have managed to collect. Once they have all the information they can advise on what your next steps should be.

If you require any medical advice, you should speak with a trained medical professional.

What Are The Symptoms Of Industrial Dermatitis?

According to the NHS, there are several symptoms of contact or industrial dermatitis, such as inflammation, blisters or dryness of the skin. Furthermore, contact dermatitis could result in infection, symptoms of this might include:

  • Discharge from your skin
  • Pain that gets worse
  • Feeling unwell
  • Feeling hot or shivery

If you have experienced any symptoms of dermatitis, please seek medical advice to receive the correct treatment and prevent any complications from occurring.

How Could Industrial Dermatitis Happen?

There are a many different things that could potentially result in a case of industrial dermatitis. Any exposure to allergens or irritants could trigger a case of dermatitis.

Below, we have provided examples of how industrial dermatitis could occur in different workplace industries as a result of your employer’s negligence:

  • Food and catering industry: You may have experienced prolonged contact with soap and detergents that caused you to develop dermatitis. An employer may have breached their duty if you told them about the effect the soaps and detergents were having on you and they failed to take reasonable steps to reduce or remove the risk.
  • Construction: Your employer may have failed to provide you with gloves when working with strong irritants such as a paint stripper. As a result, you may have developed industrial dermatitis caused by short-term exposure.
  • Factory industry: You may have informed your employer of an allergy to certain ingredients in cleaning products. However, they may have failed to take reasonable steps to prevent you from coming into contact with these products, such as providing you with gloves. As a result, you may have developed allergic contact dermatitis.

These are just some example scenarios that could lead to a case of dermatitis. There are, of course, many more workplace hazards that could cause dermatitis. If you have experienced a similar incident at work, please call our team on the number above.

Workplace Accident Statistics

The Health and Occupation Research network (THOR) collects a range of newly diagnosed cases of work-related ill health from specialist physicians. We have used figures as recorded by THOR to create the graph below.

As you can see, the number of cases has decreased between 2015-2019. There are various reasons why this may be the case, including tighter regulations of workplace health and safety.

industrial dermatitis

Which Obstacles May Prevent Me From Making A Claim?

We understand that making a claim against your employer may seem daunting. For instance, you may be concerned about damaging relationships with your co-workers or the financial impact a claim may have on your workplace. You might also have concerns about whether making a claim could result in you being dismissed after an accident at work.

Generally, employers are legally required to have insurance as per the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969. For that reason, when you make a claim against your employer, it will generally be paid by their insurance.

Additionally, your employer cannot dismiss you from work for making a claim. If they do, you could make an additional claim against them for unfair dismissal. Furthermore, your employer shouldn’t treat you differently from your co-workers.

If you have been affected by industrial dermatitis because your employer breached their duty of care, you could claim to seek the compensation you deserve. The compensation you receive could cover the pain and suffering you’ve experienced as a result of your condition and any long term impact it’s had.

What’s My Next Step Towards Filing A Claim?

There are a number of steps that might be taken, to support your compensation claim, such as:

  • Taking photographs of your skin affected by industrial dermatitis. Also, you could take photographs of the cause of the incident that resulted in this medical condition if possible.
  • Seeking professional medical help for your condition. This ensures you will get the correct treatment for the harm you sustained. It will also provide an official medical record of your condition.
  • Keeping invoices, receipts and payslips as you could use these as evidence of any financial losses you have incurred as a result of the harm you sustained.

If you have any questions regarding the steps you need to take in order to put forward your claim, call our team. They could appoint one of our solicitors to represent your claim. A solicitor could then help you through the process of seeking the compensation you deserve.

How Much Compensation Could I Achieve For Industrial Dermatitis?

It’s difficult to provide you with a definitive figure of how much your industrial dermatitis claim might be worth. Every claim is unique in some way, and different factors affect the level of compensation that is awarded.

Generally, though, your claim might consist of general and special damages. General damages allow you to seek compensation for your physical or psychological injuries. In order to accurately value your injuries, medical evidence and reports may be used to assess:

  • The severity of the harm you sustained
  • The long term impact
  • How badly the harm has affected your quality of life.

In addition, a document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) sets out bracket figures of compensation for various injuries. This publication may be used to help when valuing claims.

We have created the table below using figures from the JCG. The table includes various severities of dermatitis. However, please only use these figures as a guide because your actual settlement will vary.

Health Problem Severity More Info Possible Damages
Dermatitis (a) Both hands The person may experience soreness and cracking of the skin. It may affect employment and domestic duties. It may also have a psychological impact that lasts years. £12,900 to £18,020
Dermatitis (b) One or both hands The person may experience symptoms for significant period but it treatment may help reduce symptoms. £8,110 to £10,710
Dermatitis (c) One or both hands The person may experience itching, irritation or a rash on one or both hands. Symptoms may resolve within a few months after treatment. £1,600 to £3,710
Facial Disfigurement (e) Trivial The person may only experience a minor impact. £1,600 to £3,310
Facial Disfigurement (d) Less significant The person may have sustained one scar that can be camouflaged or several smaller scars. £3,710 to £12,900
Facial Disfigurement (c) Significant Plastic surgery will reduce the worst effects and the person’s psychological reaction may have been considerable but will have improved. £8,550 to £28,240
Facial Disfigurement (b) Less Severe In cases where there is still considerable disfigurement and where there is significant psychological damage. £16,860 to £45,440
Facial Disfigurement (a) Very Severe An individual who is fairly young with a very disfiguring cosmetic injury and a severe psychological reaction. £27,940 to £91,350
Hair (a) Hair Damage The person may sustain damage to the hair as a result of dermatitis . £6,890 to £10,340

Alternatively, you could use injury compensation calculator to get an estimate of how much your claim is worth. However, you should only use the figures as a guide.

What Are Special Damages In An Industrial Dermatitis Claim?

Special damages provide you with a way to seek reimbursement of financial losses that have been incurred as a result of the harm you experienced, in this case, industrial dermatitis. They cover both past and future losses, such as:

  • Care costs. You may have had to hire a nurse or other care professional to provide care at home.
  • Lost income. If, for example, you took time off work to visit a clinic and were not paid in full for this time.
  • Medical bills. If you had to pay for some private treatment that wasn’t available on the NHS.

You will have to show evidence that provides details on the monetary losses you’ve experienced. For instance, if you have faced loss of earnings due to being unable to work whilst recovering, you could provide payslips as evidence.

For more information on the costs you could claim back under special damages when seeking personal injury compensation, call our team on the number above.

How Might I Benefit From No Win No Fee Dermatitis Claims?

You could be able to fund legal representation when making a compensation claim for industrial dermatitis, by using a No Win No Fee agreement. There are several benefits to hiring a solicitor on this basis, such as:

  • There is no upfront payment required.
  • You won’t be required to pay ongoing costs while your claim progresses.
  • If the claim is lost, you won’t pay your solicitor a success fee.

If the claim is won, you will pay a success fee. This fee is capped by law and is taken from your compensation.

For more information about how a No Win No Fee agreement works, you can call our team. They can assess whether you hold a valid claim and if they find it has a chance of succeeding, could arrange for one of our solicitors to start working on your case.

Telephone Legal Expert About Your Own Claim

We understand you may still have questions after reading our guide. If so, one of our advisors could help by providing further clarification on anything of which you’re unsure.

Alternatively, you may wish to understand the steps you can take to start your industrial dermatitis claim.

Either way, please get in touch on the details below and an advisor could help:

  • Telephone: 0800 073 8804
  • Online form: Fill out the online contact form with your query.
  • Live chat: Speak with an advisor using the function below.

Extra Guidance On Industrial Dermatitis Claims

Below, we have provided some external links you may find useful.

  • Visit the HSE website for guidance on chemicals in the workplace.
  • For additional health and safety at work statistics, see the HSE website.
  • See the NHS website for medical advice.

Below, you can find a list of guides which may tell you more about accident at work claims:

For more information on making a claim for industrial dermatitis, call our team. They can answer any questions you have.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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