Learn more about how to make a claim for compensation if you suffer from work-related dermatitis below...

What is Work-Related Dermatitis?

Contact Dermatitis is a catch-all term for a number of inflammatory skin conditions resulting from direct skin contact with an allergen or irritant which cause the skin to become red, sore, swollen and blistered.  Work-related dermatitis refers to conditions which result from direct skin contact with irritants in the workplace.

There are two main ways that dermatitis can be triggered: either through direct contact with an irritant which damages the upper layers of the skin or through exposure to an allergen which triggers an immune response in the skin.

If you’re exposed to irritants or allergens at work, it is most common for a dermatitis rash to be present on the hands, face and forearms.  The most common irritants are chemicals and solvents, whilst the most common allergens are dust, enzymes and animal hair.

What Causes Work-Related Dermatitis?

Any exposure to irritants or allergens can result in painful dermatitis.  When the rash becomes itchy and is scratched, this can cause broken skin which is open to germs and bacteria and it’s not uncommon for infections to develop.

Professions most at risk include:

  • Hairdressers and beauticians
  • Cleaners
  • Florists
  • Cooks, chefs and catering workers
  • Metal workers
  • Dental practitioners
  • Those working in the glass, rubber, chemical and ceramic manufacturing industries

  The most common substances to cause contact dermatitis are:

  • Hard or chlorinated water (especially when hands are submerged or remain wet for long stretches of time)
  • Abrasive cleaning fluids
  • Solvents
  • Harsh soaps and detergents
  • Machine oils
  • Acids and alkalis
  • Cement
  • Reducing agents
  • Oxidising agents
  • Certain plants and botanicals

Can it Be Prevented?

Employers are required by law to conduct risk assessments and to ensure that they provide a safe working environment for their staff.  If workers are required to come into contact with irritants or allergens as part of their duties, the employer must provide them with the proper personal protective equipment, such as gloves, respirators or masks. Staff must receive health and safety training so that they are aware of the hazards in their workplace and can take necessary steps to limit exposure to harmful substances.

If you have developed contact dermatitis because of your employer’s negligence then you may be able to claim compensation.

How Can I Make a Claim?

If your contact dermatitis is deemed to be debilitating and it is provable that your exposure occurred as a result of negligence in the workplace or on the part of your employer, you may be able to make a personal injury claim. However, there are strict time limits imposed on making a claim, so it is important to seek medical and legal advice immediately. For more information on how Cute Injury can help, get in touch...

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