What to Do if your Eczema has been Caused at Work
Suffering from occupational eczema can be very unpleasant and painful. Here at AWH Solicitors, we understand the frustration you feel when your eczema has been caused at work.
Whether you have a pre-existing skin problem, are vulnerable to eczema, or have developed the condition through your job, our industrial disease experts may be able to help you with making a claim for occupational eczema compensation.
Let us help you claim compensation for occupational eczema.
Different Types of Occupational Dermatitis
There are a number of different skin problems that can be caused by substances you can come into contact with at your workplace. The term ‘occupational dermatitis’ includes a number of different forms of eczema caused at work.
The two main ones that most often affect employees who are handling chemicals are:
Irritant Contact Dermatitis
This form of dermatitis happens when the skin touches a substance that damages cells.
If you find that you are suffering from this form of eczema at work, it is very important that you inform your employers, as this would allow them to put potential preventative safety measures in place.
This condition can clear up if you are no longer exposed to the substance, but if you are subject to prolonged contact, then the skin condition can be permanent.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis
If your skin becomes particularly sensitive to an aggressive substance, this can lead to permanent allergic dermatitis. This will mean that any further contact, even if brief, will cause a return of the symptoms.
People with atopic eczema are more vulnerable to irritant contact dermatitis than allergic contact dermatitis.
Which kind of dermatitis you develop depends on the intensity of your exposure to a substance and your susceptibility to the condition.
While some people develop dermatitis immediately, it can take a few years for others.
Generally, it will be clear within a reasonably short period after handling the chemicals whether you have developed eczema caused at work.
Are you suffering from occupational eczema caused at work?
How can an Employer prevent Employees Suffering from Eczema?
An employer is responsible for protecting their employees’ safety at work.
They are required to adhere and remain up to date with Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) in order to improve the general exposure to and management of occupational hazards.
The duties your employer has under COSHH include:
- Assessing your exposure to hazardous substances at regular intervals or if any changes occur
- Preventing exposure and, where this is not possible, control exposure
- Maintaining health and safety measures and keep them in good working order. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as gloves and overalls, should be tested and examined regularly
- Conducting a Health Surveillance at a minimum of 12-month intervals or even more regularly
- Training employees about the risks and provide adequate safety information
If you are suffering from skin conditions caused or worsened at your place of work you may be able to claim compensation. Get in touch with our expert industrial disease solicitors to find out more about how we can help you.
Valuable Information for Employers and Employees Regarding Occupational Eczema
Employers and employees have mutual obligations in the workplace towards one another in regard to health and safety.
While employers are required to look after the health and safety of their workers, employees are also required to prevent risks to their own health and that of others.
Staff members have a duty to inform employers about any health problems, skin conditions or other concerns that they may have at work.
If you know that you already have occupational eczema, you should let your employer know as soon as possible, so they can take positive steps to protect you from certain substances.
What if my Employer Ignores my Occupational Eczema?
If your employer does not adhere to their legal duty, even if you have told them about your skin problems, which have started or worsened at your place of work, you may be entitled to claim compensation for their negligence.
If you are forced to leave your employment as a result of your complaint or as a result of being unable to fulfil certain tasks due to your eczema, you may even be able to claim for constructive dismissal.
If you’re unsure of your rights, contact our solicitors today. We will be able to assess your specific situation and let you know if you are eligible to make an occupational eczema claim.
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