Compensation for Chemical Injuries at Work

Can compensation for chemical injuries at work be claimed for contact dermatitis caused by incorrectly labelled industrial cleaning products? If so, what do I need to do in order to initiate a claim?

Question:

Can compensation for chemical injuries at work be claimed for contact dermatitis caused by incorrectly labelled industrial cleaning products? If so, what do I need to do in order to initiate a claim?

Answer:

Compensation for chemical injuries at work can be claimed if your contact dermatitis was caused by the negligence of your employer and your injuries were not primarily your fault. Your employer may not be personally responsible for correctly storing chemicals; however he will be liable for your injuries if working practices were not in accordance with the rules and regulations governing the use of chemicals in the workplace.

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Chemical Agents) Regulations (2001) were introduced to protect employees, and employers are legally bound to abide by these and all subsequent regulations and EU directives on chemical usage. An employer must ensure that all substances hazardous to the health are stored appropriately at all times and that staff are properly trained on their use. Appropriate personal protective equipment must also be provided to staff and it must be properly maintained and replaced as necessary.

The storage of chemicals is covered specifically by Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances Regulations (COMAH). Failing to keep chemicals in containers with appropriate labelling is a breach of these regulations and grounds for claiming compensation for chemical injuries at work if an injury was sustained as a direct result.

However, an employer cannot be held accountable for injuries which have been sustained when personal protective equipment has been supplied and not used, and an employee must take some responsibility for their own personal safety. As such, a claim for compensation for chemical injuries at work will not be possible if the accident which caused your contact dermatitis was primarily your fault.

Claiming compensation for chemical injuries at work such as contact dermatitis can be complicated by any contributory negligence of the claimant. While you may be eligible to claim compensation for chemical injuries at work it is important that your case is thoroughly assessed to determine whether it is worth your while to do so. It is therefore in your best interests to speak with a personal injury solicitor in this regard. After listening to your account of the accident and your injuries, you will be advised whether you are eligible to claim compensation for chemical injuries at work, the likelihood of you making a successful claim and you will be advised of the steps you must take next in order to do so.