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Occupational Dermatitis

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Occupational Dermatitis

Have you developed dermatitis from your job or the place that you work on? If the answer is yes then you will be able to make an Occupational Dermatitis claim for compensation.

  • Suffering from inflammatory skin condition
  • Exposed to hazardous chemicals at work
  • Inadequate protection
  • Employers negligence
  • Unable to return to work
  •  Suffering loss of income


What's Occupational Dermatitis?

Dermatitis is the medical term used to describe any type of inflammatory skin condition. In work related skin conditions the term occupational dermatitis is given. One of the most common forms of occupation dermatitis is contact eczema. This causes the skin to appear with small blisters, it can make the skin sore to the touch, cause dryness and redness too. Often the dry condition of the skin causes it to crack which causes further irritation to occur.Occupational Dermatitis is caused by:

  • Work place substances
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals
  • Employers Negligence
  • Poor health and safety measures
  • Inadequate protection

When all is said and done when we talk about occupational dermatitis we are really talking about skin rashes. Admittedly that is a little bit of an oversimplification but At Mercury Legal we always try to be as plain speaking as we possibly can and the word dermatitis means very little to most of us. Doctors will sometimes use different phrases and terminology when talking about dermatitis such as irritant dermatitis or contact dermatitis, just to confuse matters yet further, but again it all comes down to one thing – you have developed a skin problem as a result of a substance or substances you use in the workplace.

Causes of Contact Dermatitis At Work

Contact dermatitis is triggered when skin is exposed to a substance which acts as an irritant, causing the body to react abnormally. The irritant substance damages the surface of the skin, resulting in a red, prickly rash. About 80% of cases of contact dermatitis are caused by irritant substances and more often than not, it is usually the hands that are affected.

Sufferers can develop contact dermatitis if they are regularly exposed to mild irritants during the working day. Potentially irritating substances which can cause contact dermatitis include materials commonly found in the workplace such as soaps, detergents, antiseptics and disinfectants. Other triggers include ingredients used in toiletries and cosmetics, including perfumes and preservatives.

Irritant dermatitis is particularly common in occupations involving cleaning and wet work. Those most likely to develop the condition include people carrying out food preparation, hairdressers, fishmongers and employees in the printing trade.

Allergic dermatitis occurs when the sufferer is in contact with an allergen, a substance that is capable of producing an adverse reaction. Sufferers are not born with this condition, but develop it following contact with an allergen, resulting in the immune system becoming sensitized. Once this has occurred, instead of protecting the body against attack from infections, the immune system will attack healthy cells, causing the skin to become red and inflamed. Common examples of allergens include nickel, rubber and epoxy resin adhesives. The reaction is not immediate and several days may pass before symptoms appear.

Can Occupational Dermatitis be treated?

Steroid creams can be applied to treat the condition, but they should not be considered a long-term solution. The best cure for contact dermatitis is to avoid the offending substance. If you develop a reaction to nickel, it is advisable to avoid cheap jewellery and to try an alternative metal such as titanium. However it can sometimes be difficult to identify the offending substance, especially in the case of additives such as food colouring or perfumes added to other products. In this case a patch test carried out by a dermatologist may help to identify the irritant.

Prevent Occupational Dermatitis

Good hand care at work can help employees to avoid contact and irritant dermatitis. People who get their hands wet regularly should be provided with protective gloves and barrier creams by employers and mild skin cleansers should be available instead of soap. Hands need to be dried thoroughly and moisturising cream applied to prevent the onset of this irritating condition.

Can I make a claim for Occupational Dermatitis?

It is your employer’s responsibility to ensure that all health and safety measures are taken to ensure your safety at work. If you have developed occupational dermatitis as a result of either the chemicals used at work or any health and safety negligence you should speak to the Mercury Legal Online team today. Your employer will have insurance in place should situations like this arise. From the 1st April 2013 when you contact us you will not be asked to pay any money whatsoever up front and even if your claim is unsuccessful through no fault of your own you will never be asked to pay anything to anyone.

Contact our legal experts today

Mercury Legal Online take the pain out of making a claim. Our team will do all of the form filling so you don’t have to. You’ll be kept up to date with the progress of your claim and our team will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. Just fill in our compensation claim form and one of our expert advisers will be in touch or you if you prefer you can talk directly to someone now by calling our 24hr Mercury Legal Online helpline on 0800 122 3130, or request a call back – your claim will be dealt with immediately either way.

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