Contact dermatitis and occupational eczema caused by exposure to harmful substances at work are the second most common type of occupational illness caused by workplace factors. The substances concerned are not usually regarded as particularly hazardous to most people however a section of the population may become sensitized and react badly to these materials which include common place chemicals such as solvents and cutting fluids. Most patients with occupational skin disease go on to develop a chronic skin disease which deteriorates performance and productivity at work and adversely affects the quality of their home life.
Employees whose complaint erupts following exposure to a substance whilst at work, but improves when the employee is away from work and recurs when exposed to that substance upon returning to work should take particular care to investigate the problem which may, upon continual repeated exposure, become a lifelong chronic problem.
Employers are required to make an assessment of the risks to health and safety of any employees liable to be exposed to a substance that may cause skin disease and they should have a system of health surveillance to recognise the early symptoms of contact dermatitis and occupational excema. Employers should ensure that manufacturer’s hazard data information sheets are available to employees and they should supply all necessary protective equipment. Failure to comply with these requirements could mean that an employer is liable to pay damages for personal injury in the event of an employee contracting an avoidable skin disease.
Compensation obtained by occupational eczema solicitors includes ‘General Damages’ which represents compensation items that are difficult to calculate accurately and include ‘pain and suffering’, loss of the enjoyment of life and disadvantage on the open labour market. In addition, occupational excema solicitors will claim ‘Special Damages’ which represents compensation for losses that can be accurately calculated and may include;
loss of earnings
assistance for household chores
care and assistance
aids and equipment
adapted accommodation and transport