Chemical Burn Compensation Claims & Settlement Values

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Chemical burn injuries can lead to permanent disfigurement, severe pain and disabilities such as blindness. As such, compensation settlements can be fairly high in value.

With numerous industries requiring the use of chemicals, the most common place for people to come into contact with hazardous substances that can cause chemical burns is in the workplace.

Employers are required by law to minimise the risk of injury from chemicals and must provide adequate storage, training and personal protective equipment (PPE).

If an employee sustained a chemical burn injury at work, they have the right to make a claim for compensation. Our specialist solicitors can quickly identify whether an employer has been negligent and if so, pursue a claim for you.

Table of contents:

Chemical burn injuries explained

Chemicals contain potentially hazardous elements such as acids and alkalis that will damage the tissues of the skin or eyes upon contact.

Hazardous materials that contain such irritants include bleach, industrial cleaning fluids, concrete, rust remover, batteries, refining compounds, agricultural fertilisers. While heavy industries often make use of sulphuric, nitric and phosphoric acid, ammonia and sodium hydroxide.

If any of these or other hazardous chemicals are used without the adequate protection of safety gloves, overalls, face masks and eye protection, serious chemical burn injuries can occur.

Common chemical burn injury symptoms include:

  • Cracked, sore and red skin
  • Irritation and rashes
  • Blurred and lost vision
  • Loss of sensation in fingers or other affected areas
  • Dead or blackened skin

External chemical burns are usually visible fairly quickly, but in some cases the onset of symptoms can be delayed.

If any hazardous chemicals are inhaled or ingested, chemical burns can be sustained within the body. Internal organs may face damage that can be fatal, with some symptoms including shortness of breath, heart attacks and even seizures.

Compensation amounts

The value of a claim will be made up of two parts – the element for general damages (reached on the basis of medical evidence and length of injury or recovery) as well as special damages, where any costs and lost income can be recovered. The figures below are a guide to the general damages value only.

The severity of chemical burns can vary greatly, as can their impact on day-to-day life, so there are no set compensation levels for these or other types of burn injury. However, burns of any severity can be very painful and disfiguring so awards are often in the upper ends of the brackets, if not well above when psychological effects are also taken into account.

Let’s take facial disfigurement as an example. Here, where the cosmetic effect is very disfiguring and the psychological reaction severe, settlements can range from around £35,000 to £80,000 and more. Less significant facial scarring falls in a range of £3,000 to £10,000.

Compensation amounts for scarring to other parts of the body, and where the injury is not usually visible, tend to be lower.

A large proportion of awards for multiple scars or a single disfiguring scar on the leg, arm, back or chest fall in the bracket of £5,000 to £20,000.

Employer Negligence

To succeed with a claim for chemical burn injury compensation, the claimant will need to establish that the injury was caused by an act of negligence.

Most such claims come about after someone has been burned at work whilst using dangerous chemicals without the correct training, guidance or protective equipment. This constitutes a breach of health and safety protocol.

Employers must ensure that comprehensive health and safety regulations are in place in order that employees can work safely and the risks of chemical burn injuries are minimised. They have a number of guidelines to follow.

The Health & Safety at work act 1974 gives employers a responsibility to carry out adequate risk assessments, having safety guideline policies in place and covers the general health and safety of employees.

COSHH (The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002) provides specific safety controls that an employer and employee MUST adhere to whilst using chemicals and substances that could cause serious injury if handled incorrectly. All employers MUST ensure that they have done all that can reasonably be expected of them to minimise the risk of chemical burn injuries to their employees and should therefore routinely enforce COSHH guidelines throughout the workplace.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 give employers a responsibility to:

  • Adequately risk assess the chemicals they are tasking employees with using
  • Store and maintain chemicals safely to minimise the risk of chemical burn injuries
  • Provide the correct personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Use and provide adequate first aid services
  • Train staff in the dangers of the chemicals they are using
  • Ensure that regular cleaning is in place to remove excess chemicals and hazards.

How to claim chemical burn injury compensation

If an employer fails to enforce sufficient health and safety management in the use of hazard chemicals and an employee suffers a chemical burn injury, the employee can seek to make a claim for compensation against their employer.

At Direct2Compensation we know the rights of employees working with dangerous chemicals and what responsibilities employers have when it comes to the use of and handling of such items.

Making a claim with Direct2Compensation is a simple process. From your initial discussions with our expert staff, we will make an assessment of your claim and place it with one of our specialist chemical burn injury solicitors who will act for you on a No Win No Fee basis.

Our solicitors will then register your claim and carry out further investigations into the cause of your injuries in order to establish liability against the employer or whoever is responsible for your exposure to dangerous chemicals.

As soon as liability is established, they will obtain supporting medical evidence and begin the process of obtaining a full and fair compensation settlement to cover the extent of your injuries and any ongoing medical treatments. They will also ensure that any loss of income and costs are recovered for you.

To start your claim for chemical burn injury compensation, simply call us on 01225 430285 or if you prefer, visit our ‘start a claim’ page and send us your details. We’ll then call you and help you to better understand your rights and get the claims process up and running.

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Questions & Answers


  1. Michelle

    I went to a salon to get my hair bleached and they used foils etc. Everything was fine, but they it heated up really quickly and I told them it was hurting. They quickly moved me and rinsed the middle of my head where it was burning – but not the sides though because it still needed time for the bleach to take effect.

    My head was still sore after the sides were done. The senior hairdresser told the junior to rinse my head with cold water but she washed it with warm water which to me felt hot too me and I did mention that. After that my head just felt even worse, so they put in the toner then washed my hair again, blow dried and straightened my hair. After they did that, my head was weeping and they didn’t even tell me to see a Doctor or anything! They just said don’t wash your hair for 5-6 days and to let it scab over! When I left the salon, my head felt really sore. By the day after it felt like it was getting worse so I had put my head under cold water to ease the pain. A week later I went to the hospital and they put me on antibiotics as the damage to my scalp had become infected and a lot of my middle hair was gone. I’ve still got a lot more to say but this is a summary.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Our Solicitors have previously succeeded with claims against Hair Salons where they have caused injuries to the scalp or hair loss through negligence or mishandling of chemical products.

      In your case, we would be happy to look further in to your situation and pass the details of a potential claim to our specialist Solicitors os that they can consider the merits of your case and potentially pursue a claim for your hair loss, discomfort and scalp burns.

      If you haven’t already done so, we would recommend that you make the Salon aware (in writing) of the injuries that they have caused you.

      If you would like further help from us, please call us on 01225430285 or ask us to call you.

      Reply
  2. Lois

    My Dad got burnt last year at work with burning chemicals, he was wearing boots when he was supposed to be wearing wellies which would protect him but he wasn’t provided with these wellies. It burnt all his ankles, feet and toes. Would he be entitled to claim?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Your Father most certainly would be entitled to claim. Employers that expect workers to handle potentially dangerous and hazardous chemicals, must ensure that COSHH regulations are followed and that the correct personal protective equipment has been provided to the employees. This appears to have not happened in your Father’s case and we feel he has a valid and robust claim.

      We have specialist Solicitors with a proven track record in pursuit of claims for injuries caused through the mishandling of chemicals and we would like to help your Father in this case.

      Reply
  3. Sarah

    Hi

    I was asked to clean some permanent marker from a whiteboard from my employer. Within a couple of days my hand started peeling and upon a medical exam I was referred to a burns unit for chemical burns to my dominant hand. 2 years on I am still having issues such as recurrent peeling skin (hand and fingers) which gets so thin its very painful. I also suffer pins & needles along with occasional numbness which the hospital say is nerve damage. I am looking at claiming from my employer but not sure if I have a claim? Will they say its my fault?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If your employer did not provide you with advice as to the nature of the chemical product you were using or gloves to protect your hands, they could be liable and you have a right to make a claim for compensation.

      If you would like to take this further, please use the contact us options on our website and we’ll call you to take some further details and have our specialist Solicitors consider this matter for you.

      Reply
  4. Anna

    My daughter is in her first job from college. We have had our concerns from day one – lack of contract, lack of payslip, etc but she enjoys the job and doesn’t want to cause trouble so accepts the excuses they ply her with. Then last week she had an accident at work which resulted in both a hot water and chemical burn to her leg. At 18 and with two months experience she was the most senior person there (the other being a 16 year old pot wash boy). There were customers also and she had no keys to lock up with to seek assistance resulting in further damage to her leg. She has been off work, unpaid, for a week but has gone back on light duties. Her employer has magically on her return produced a contract which she has signed but has no copy of. He has also filled in an ‘accident’ report despite him not having been present and my daughter has neither read that or signed it. Very concerned for her working there and I feel they should be taken to task over this, does she have a case?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      There is certainly a valid claim to investigate and look further in to here. Whether or not the claim will succeed will depend on the way in which the burns were caused, but given the apparently disorganised nature of the workplace, one can imagine that there is not much training going on and given that a chemical burn has been sustained there are questions to ask about the employers policy on COSHH and health and safety in general.

      As your Daughter is 18 years of age, she can make a claim without needing formal parental support. We would be happy to help her with your support by way of a claim for compensation and would like to discuss with her as to how we can assist. Should your daughter wish to take this further, she can call us on 01225430285 or we can call her at a time that suits her.

      Whilst it is always wise to take action at the earliest opportunity, your Daughter doesn’t have to rush in to a claim if she doesn’t want to. The law will afford her 3 years from the date of the accident to make a claim.

      Reply
  5. Kayla

    4 years back I walked out the back door of work, they didn’t inform anyone, no note, nothing, that they were degreasing the concrete outside and I slip and fall chemically burning all inside my rear end. If I’m hot or walk too much it will chafe and sometimes bleed. Can I still sue?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      UK law would not allow you to make a claim for personal injury compensation if the injury was caused more than 3 years ago – unless you were under the age of 18 years at the time.

      Reply
  6. wessley

    I have just had an accident at work. I operate a printing press and the previous operator on the shift before me had left a tray of a chemical cleaner in the machine and not told me, so when I pulled the tray out thinking it was empty the chemicals spilled down my leg. I cleaned it all off straight away and went home to shower but it had soaked into my sock and work shoe giving me a bad chemical burn. I went straight to my local A&E and the next day I had to go to a burns unit out of town. I was off work for 2 weeks both of which I was paid for. I have been told that my foot will make a full recovery with no scaring. With this in mind, would I still have a claim?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      It would appear that you have been fortunate in that you will make a full recovery from the chemical burn you have sustained. However, despite the likely full recovery and the fact that your employer paid you in full, you would still be able to pursue a claim for compensation in this matter.

      You would, if successful with your claim, be able to recover a compensation settlement that covered the pain and distress caused to you by the injury and also recover any costs or losses that you have incurred because of the incident.

      If you would like to pursue this claim further, please call us.

      Reply
  7. Jay Garnett

    Hi I worked in a chemical plant for 7 years in the first year me and 3 colleagues had severe burns to our hand that required hospital treatment.
    Also we used to charge tanks with acyrlic acid and still 17 years after leaving there after I get out of a shower in the morning my face is bright red except a out line of safety glasses and a fine mask.
    The company was taken over by basf.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      I am not sure if you have any chance of claiming compensation here. My worry is that you are now outside of the limitation period.

      Reply
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