It’s easy to associate the term ‘industrial illnesses’ with serious conditions such as respiratory disorders, cancer and hearing loss for example and indeed these are very common reasons for claims by those working in industrial roles.
The term industrial illness, however, can also apply to skin conditions. Painful and sometimes debilitating problems such as eczema, dermatitis, urticaria, hives, skin cancer and sunburn affect a whole host of work sectors.
Skin irritants affect many work sectors
Hairdressers, for example, come into contact with chemicals – bleaches and colorants, perm and straightening solutions – on a daily basis and suffer worse due to their hands being immersed in water for much of the day. Those in the catering industry may handle allergy-causing ingredients such as potatoes, fish or meat and the risks to chemical workers are obvious.
Painters and decorators, printers, health service professionals, mechanics and machinists are exposed to the hazardous constituents in the materials they use to go about their duties and outdoor workers are commonly affected by exposure to the sun.
If an employer fails to provide sufficient training in the safe use of substances that may cause skin reactions; or if they don’t supply adequate safety garments – and that includes supplying alternative protection where there is an allergy to standard issue garments such as latex gloves - and a worker develops a skin condition as a result that prevents them from going about their everyday work or leisure activities, that employer can be pursued for compensation.
Certain skin conditions have been known to end careers. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has developed the Avoid, Protect and Check (APC) approach which employers are urged to follow.
If you are suffering from a skin condition that is affecting your daily life, and that skin condition has been caused by the work that you do, you could be entitled to compensation.
For specialist advice on making a claim, talk to Stephensons. Our personal injury experts will guide you through what’s involved and let you know what compensation you may be entitled to. Call us in confidence on 01616 966 229.