Occupational Dermatitis Claims

If you have problems with your skin and it is more obvious during or following work you may be suffering from Occupational Dermatitis. You will not be alone however with estimates by GPs suggesting that up to 35,000 people suffer work related skin problems each year in the UK.

Occupational Dermatitis, also known as Contact Dermatitis, is a medical condition which results in inflammation of the skin following exposure to an irritant or ‘trigger substance’.

The symptoms of the condition vary usually starting with redness and irritation. If the condition worsens it may develop into swelling, blistering and in extreme cases become infected.

There are four types of causes of work related dermatitis:

  • Irritants
  • Sensitisers (Allergens)
  • Working Environment
  • Skin Abrasion
  • Irritants

Can affect any skin regardless of whether there has been previous exposure.

Medical treatment is effective if the contact is eliminated or reduced, if long term exposure occurs then long term damage may be expected.

Irritants include: Chemicals Acids Alkalis Oxidisers Reducing Agents Mineral Oils Solvents Sensitisers

Not everyone who comes into contact with a sensitiser will suffer skin problems. Often it is repeated exposure that leads to the onset of occupational dermatitis.

Work Environment

Some people will suffer occupational dermatitis due to the conditions in their working environment such as humidity, temperature and wind.

Skin Abrasion

Working with substances such as sand, cement and plaster will leave skin damaged and susceptible to contact dermatitis.

Medical Treatment

There are a number of ways contact dermatitis can be treated. Removing the cause is desirable and helps to make medical treatment effective.

Medical treatments include:

Emollients Topical Corticosteroids Oral Corticosteroids Are you at risk of developing Work Related Dermatitis?

Many people may be at risk of developing skin problems because of their working environment and what substances they are exposed to.

Types of job which have been identified by the Health and Safety Executive, HSE, to pose high risk of skin problems include:

Hairdressing Dentistry Health Construction Printing Metal Machining Vehicle Repair Off Shore Work Florist Cook Occupational Dermatitis Claims

If you have suffered skin problems and these are attributed to your workplace you may be able to make a claim for damages if your employer has been negligent in his legal obligations towards your safety.

COSHH, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations information sheets are provided to employers to ensure their employees safety whilst at work.

If your employer has been negligent in their obligation and it causes you harm you may be able to claim for damages. Protective equipment should be provided and up to date data on hand to ensure your safety.

If you believe your skin problems are a result of your occupation we can advise you on the legal options available. In some cases it may also be possible to claim benefits under the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit Scheme.

Please feel free to discuss your situation in complete confidence with one of our industrial diseases team.

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