Occupational Dermatitis Compensation Claims

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If you are suffering from eczema or dermatitis, it can sometimes be associated with your work. You may be entitled to compensation if it can be proven your employer has failed in its legal duties to assess risk and provide a safe working environment.

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What is occupational dermatitis?

Occupational dermatitis, a type of eczema, is the inflammation of the skin caused by contact with a damaging substance or surface, or through exposure to hazardous chemicals, within the working environment. In severe cases, and particularly when someone makes a claim for compensation, the symptoms of the condition can be very serious indeed.

Many claimants suffering with the debilitating pain and irritation of eczema are left unable to work. This is particularly common when it affects the hands. In such cases, a loss of dexterity can leave the sufferer unable to perform simple tasks such as opening and closing zips, washing hands or tying shoelaces. Furthermore, any contact with or near the cause of the condition can result in painful flare-ups.

Employers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe and secure working environment that adequately assesses the risks faced by staff. This would include the handling of hazardous chemicals, solutions or substances. Such an environment would ensure that all staff members are provided with training and guidance in order that they know what hazardous substances are present, how to handle them, and also given the correct safety equipment such as gloves, protective clothing or breathing apparatus.

Why claim compensation for dermatitis?

Eczema sufferers know all too well what a horrible condition it can be. In addition to the physical pain and itching, there are the psychological effects present with any visible skin disease or injury. Sufferers can feel withdrawn and anxious, aware of others looking at them and avoiding touch. There is no single treatment that works for everyone, and if you find something that does work, there’s no guarantee it will work forever. Searching for effective treatment becomes expensive and frustrating.

Claiming compensation can help to address these and other issues:

  • Making a claim is your legal right, and fairly compensates you for a condition that was not your fault
  • It can pay for private medical treatment and therapies
  • It can make up for lost income now and in the future if you are prevented from working again

Once your claim is active and your solicitor has obtained an admission of liability from your employer, your claim will succeed. At this point, your solicitor can look to help you recover quicker by obtaining specialist rehabilitation therapies. In the case of occupational eczema or dermatitis, this could include private consultations or treatment unavailable on the NHS. These will be provided at the expense of the liable third party.

With Direct2Compensation, all claims are made on a no win no fee basis, giving claimants access to justice as you can pursue a claim without having to worry about the cost. You will be able to claim a settlement for the severity of the dermatitis, the pain, discomfort and suffering caused by it and also claim back any lost income or costs incurred because of the condition.

When you can make a claim for occupational dermatitis

If you have been caused to suffer from dermatitis or eczema as a result of the negligence of an employer, you have a legal right to pursue a no win no fee claim for injury compensation.

To succeed with a claim, the sufferer will have to demonstrate that the condition has been sufficiently serious to warrant a claim and that medical treatment has been sought and received.

Employers may be held liable for industrial dermatitis if they fail to:

  • Provide adequate training and guidance regarding identified hazardous substances, chemicals or materials that may be present through normal working activities.
  • Provide staff with the correct and adequate personal protective equipment.
  • Ensure that all noxious or dangerous chemicals are handled in compliance with the ‘Controls of Substances Hazardous to Health’ (COSHH) guidelines, and that chemicals are stored and controlled accordingly.

How Direct2Compensation can help with your dermatitis claim

At Direct2Compensation, we know your rights and can help you to understand whether your eczema is something you are likely to be able to hold your employer liable for.

We can advise you on important issues, such as helping you to make sure that the details of your condition, and the negligence of your employer, have been properly reported and recorded.

Over the years we have successfully assisted many claimants who have suffered with ill health or conditions such as occupational dermatitis, and helped them to find the right specialist solicitor to manage their claim.

Direct2Compensation work with some of the best expert injury compensation solicitors in the UK. With our easy to understand claims process and ability to handle your claim quickly, simply and transparently, there are many reasons that make us the right choice when it comes to starting your claim for eczema compensation.

To find out more about your compensation rights or to start your hernia injury claim today, call us on 01225 430285 or if you prefer, . In just a few minutes on the telephone with you, we’ll obtain the initial information needed for our solicitors to commence a claim.

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Comments & Questions

Read on for questions and advice about claiming, plus dermatitis claim examples...

Hi, I worked in a factory/office based environment last year between March and June. While I was there I started to get itchy hands and fingers, I thought this might be a result of using cleaning products often. I went and got some cream from over the counter in boots, as I was advised by the pharmacist that this could help.
This cream didn’t work, and the itching and redness continued to spread across my fingers.
I reported this at the time to my supervisor and not much was done about it.
They do provide us with gloves but gloves that allowed the cleaning substance to leak through onto my hands, no matter how many pairs I wore.
I was at this job on a temporary basis, once I had done my 4 months there I finished the job and tried to gain work elsewhere.
My hands rapidly got 100x worse, both covered in blistered, sore dermatitis/eczema, and it started to spread across my body.
I started a new job which I had to quit as the severity of my condition was progressively, aggressively spreading.
I have been out of work since this.
I could not use my hands to do daily tasks or anything and became depressed.
I got booked in with a dermatologist and had a patch test done on my back, which had no reaction. I attended the hospital on 3 occasions to be told my eczema is incurable and to continue using steroid creams and shower lotions prescribed to me.
I have a letter from the specialist explaining that I most definitely contracted this while working at the factory/offices.
I’m just wondering whether there’s any point in me trying to claim for this?
I am still suffering to this day and have to wear blue gloves 24 hours a day to keep the moisturiser in, I have been told to keep using this.

Thank you

Ian Morris

The correspondence you mention from the specialist will be the key here. If that correspondence states, as you say, that the cause of your dermatitis was the products you were working with, there will be some good evidence available to support a Solicitor in pursuit of a claim for compensation for your skin condition and the associated loss of income you have incurred. Further, if the former employer cannot demonstrate that they had properly risk assessed the chemicals that you were using, provided you with the appropriate COSHH training or the right sort of PPE, succeeding with your claim is likely.

If you would like further help in pursuing your claim, please call us on 01225430285. Alternatively, just visit the start your claim page of our website and provide further details to get your claim up and running.


My son works in a pub kitchen. He currently has dermatitis in his hands caused by pot wash etc. My understanding is that HSE guidelines require this to be reported. It has not been.
Further to this a recent change in management (it’s a chain) has meant that staffing levels are ridiculously low and he is expected to work 65+ hours per week. This is not helping his mental health.
I have been asking him to go to the doctor about his hands, but the pressure of work means that he is unable to do so.
(He has been before and received steroid cream etc but continual exposure is obviously stopping him from healing).
My question: as this injury was caused at work can he claim if he takes some time off to heal his hands? Does he even need to claim or should they pay him full pay while he heals?

Ian Morris

There may well be a valid claim to be pursued against the employer for the skin condition and impact that it is having on your Son. It is important that he makes a report to the employer in writing of the workload and of the issue with his hands. Given the nature of work, one would expect the employer to provide protective gloves and do all that could be expected to reduce the risk of symptoms and if the employer is not offering any gloves or making any reasonable adjustments to the working environment, a claim could succeed.

If he were to succeed with a claim for compensation, he would be entitled to compensation for the pain and discomfort of the dermatitis and also to recover any loss of income or other costs incurred as a result of the condition and absence from work.


I had severe psoriasis on my hands as a young child age 6. I was in constant bandages and my hands were always in a fist due to not being able to move them without pain. I was treat for the wrong diagnosis for years and was moved to different specialists at different hospitals. It was only when I was 14 that I was diagnosed correctly and received the correct treatment which cleared it up at age 16. Since then I gave always had weak wrists and fingers ache when straight die to being use to being in a fist. I am now 32 and have arthritis in my hands and alot of pain due to mistreatment for so long. Is there a claim I can make?

Ian Morris

For the scenario you describe, any claim would be one of an allegation of clinical negligence and would therefore need to be considered by a specialist clinical negligence Solicitor rather than an expert in personal injury such as ourselves.

However, given the time that has lapsed since you were correctly diagnosed and now, it would appear that you are out of limitation and cannot now pursue any claim. Unfortunately, you would have had to pursue any action before your 21st Birthday.


I have severe contact dermatitis on my left and right hand due to negligence of employer. 3 of my fingers have been left with long term damage, I have to sleep at night with a hand mould which I got through compensation. Both my hands are left with scars all over and dermatitis due to leaky diesel gun which I asked to be changed 4 times but never did due to laziness and negligence. I have photos and proof.

Ian Morris

Under UK Health and Safety at Work law, any employer that requires workers to use substances that may be hazardous to health must comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations. If an employer fails to comply with these guidelines, which will include ensuring that appropriate personal protective equipment is provided and that any reports of risks to health are acted upon, they are likely to be liable if an employee develops injury, such as chemical burns, industrial dermatitis or respiratory damage.

In your case, you describe a scenario in which your employer has failed to act on the repeated report of a broken and dangerous piece of work equipment. With this in mind, it would certainly give an initial indication that you do have a valid claim for compensation against your employer.

You do however mention that you now sleep with a hand mould provided through compensation. As such, if you have already made a claim for compensation, you will not be able to return to the same claim/same injuries for further damages. That said, if the severe contact dermatitis you mention is a ‘new’ injury and has not formed part of a claim previously, we would be very happy to look at that for you.


Hi Ian
Last year I had an allergic reaction to some washing powder at work, I work in a residential care home. The reaction developed into psoriasis and a risk assessment was put in place which my employer agreed to use the same washing products in the workplace that I use at home. I have had months of medical treatments via the NHS including light therapy and this has been really beneficial to my health.
2 weeks ago I put my notice in at work as I do not get along with my manager. Since then they have changed the washing powder back to the one which caused my problems, I think this has been done maliciously with the intent of causing me harm.
Any advice?

Ian Morris

As you can imagine, it would be very hard to prove that the employers choice to re-use the washing powder was done so maliciously. As such, it would be very hard to pursue any action against the employer on that basis.

There may be a claim for the initial psoriasis condition if your employer hasn’t provided any safety gloves or risk assessed the role and detergents used.

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