Health and safety in the workplace – avoiding dermatitis

Work can be very unforgiving on workers’ skin and many UK employees are unfortunate enough to suffer from dermatitis, a very nasty skin disease which forces thousands to miss work each year. The condition can be caused by contact with various allergens and irritants and can cause swollen, reddened and blistering skin on the hands. However, occupational contact dermatitis is far more common than it should be and given the number of health and safety regulations in place to protect workers coming to harm in the workplace, employers are often to blame for their employees suffering from the disease.

All employers have a common law duty of care to protect their employees from physical and psychological harm. They are also bound by regulations set out in legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1999 and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002. The latter of these two acts compels employers to provide training to all workers about the chemicals they handle in the workplace (many of which can cause dermatitis). Employers must advise employees on how to avoid conditions such as dermatitis and where necessary provide the necessary gloves or protective hand creams to avoid dermatitis (or any other personal protective equipment).

Where employers breach their duty of care by failing to comply with the relevant rules and regulations and an employee begins to suffer from occupational contact dermatitis, the employer may find themselves facing a compensation claim. However, if employers fully comply with regulations they will find that workers are at lesser risk of dermatitis and will become better at spotting the first signs of the disease. This should mean that there are fewer dermatitis cases, fewer days off work, and fewer potential compensation claims.

Need advice on claiming compensation for occupational dermatitis?

Our expert Work Accident Solicitors have vast experience dealing with industrial dermatitis compensation claims and would be happy to help you win what you are entitled to follwing your work accident.

To find out more, call 0808 901 9069, or

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