Work contact dermatitis is most prevalent in industries such as healthcare, hairdressing, cleaning and catering where contact is made with a range of materials such as chemicals, detergents and toiletries. However, work contact dermatitis can occur in just about any workplace and be caused by natural products, such as water, if contact is prolonged and frequent.
Employers have an obligation under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act (2007) to tell their workers how to look after their skin and provide appropriate protective clothing and gloves. They should also advise staff in industries where work contact dermatitis is common about the importance of thoroughly drying their hands after washing them and provide soft cotton or paper disposable towels -even moisturising creams in some industries. Special arrangements have to be made for young workers, pregnant women and those who are breast feeding and, in appropriate cases, health surveillance should also be available for employees.
There are three main types of work contact dermatitis:-
- Irritant work contact dermatitis is caused by detergents, solvents and oils which dry out and damage the skin.
- Allergic work contact dermatitis can be caused by chemicals in cements, hair products and some foods when they come in contact with the skin.
- Urticaria work contact dermatitis is an instant allergy which occurs within minutes of certain plants, foods and natural latex rubber gloves touching the skin.
Symptoms of Dermatitis
The symptoms of the different types of work contact dermatitis are very much alike. The first signs are dry, red or itchy skin which develops into flaking, blistering or cracking. Sometimes the hands or fingers will swell up, and every contact made with the offending agent will create minute amounts of further damage until more serious signs are seen and the employee is suffering serious pain.
If you are experiencing symptoms similar to those mentioned above, it is important that you see a doctor about treatment for your work contact dermatitis and, where the causes are through negligence or lack of care by an employer, you are also entitled to claim work contact dermatitis compensation.
Claiming Work Contact Dermatitis Compensation
Claiming work contact dermatitis compensation is done in the same way as a personal injury claim inasmuch as you make an application to the Injuries Board Ireland together with a copy of your medical records and the reasons why you are making a claim for compensation against your employer. However, it is because you have to make a claim for work contact dermatitis compensation against your employer that many people choose to use the assistance of a solicitor in this process.
As established personal injury claims solicitors, we appreciate that this may create a difficult situation for you and, for this reason, we have set up a free advice telephone service that anybody suffering from work contact dermatitis is welcome to call and speak to one of our team.
Our solicitors will offer helpful and impartial advice about how you can best handle this situation, and offer accurate and up-to-the-minute information about making a claim for work contact dermatitis compensation. All calls are completely confidential and there is no obligation to proceed with a claim once you have spoken with one of our solicitors.
Call us now or if you cannot speak now please fill in the form on the left and we will call you back.
What You Can Expect to Happen?
Our solicitors have many years experience dealing with work injuries and their compensation claims, but no two cases are alike. Therefore, we would ask you to explain how you contracted your work contact dermatitis, what treatment your doctor has recommended for it and how you believe your employer is responsible – even partially – for your ailment.
You may have many questions of your own, and we will do our best to answer any non-medical issues we can. Often it is better to have all your questions written down before you call us in order that every aspect of what you need to know is covered.
We will assess whether there is a claim for work contact dermatitis which is worth your while to pursue, advise you how long we anticipate it would take to process and give you a general indication of the level of compensation you could expect to receive. We will also offer several related pieces of advice and make suggestions on how you could take your claim forward.
You are under no obligation to follow our suggestions or proceed immediately with a claim, and we appreciate that you may want to consider our advice for several days before getting back to us. All we can say is please do not be influenced by an offer of early settlement by an employer without speaking with us first.
Our lines are open from 8.00am to 10.00pm and we also operate a call-back service. Therefore, if it is not convenient to call us right away, please leave your details in the contact box below and one of our friendly and helpful team will get back in touch with you.