Occupational contact dermatitis – some alarming figures

Dermatitis is a common skin disease which is caused by the skin coming into contact with allergens or irritants such as the chemicals in cleaning products or cosmetics. Perhaps unsurprisingly therefore, beauty therapists, hairdressers and florists are amongst those most commonly affected by contact dermatitis. As these occupations are predominantly female, nearly twice as many women suffer from dermatitis as men.

Dermatitis can cause great discomfort, leaving skin itchy and red and it can make it very difficult to work. Indeed, 2009-11 statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveal the alarming extent of the dermatitis problem within the workplace. Here are a few examples of the findings:

• 1 in every 50 cases of sick leave being taken for occupational illness is a result of dermatitis

• 13 in every 10,000 workers nowadays suffers from irritant dermatitis

• Dermatitis is the second most common workplace injury behind slips and trips which affects 21 in every 10,000 workers

Another worrying statistic emerged from the Self-reported Work related Illness survey (SWI). Up to 22,000 people in the UK today could be suffering from a skin condition which they believe was caused or aggravated in the workplace. Those who believe they have contracted occupational contact dermatitis should contact a specialist work accident solicitor.

GPs point out that whilst the number of dermatitis cases seen each year has declined significantly (in fact by more than 60% over the last six years) we still see around 40,000 new cases each year which are work-related. Dermatitis is not being tackled in the workplace with the enforcement of effective health and safety protocols and this has to change.

Occupational contact dermatitis advice from expert Work Accident Solicitors

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