I want to claim chemical injury compensation for contact dermatitis which I developed at work. When is it possible to make a claim against an employer?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

In order to determine whether you are eligible to claim for a chemical accident at work and recover chemical injury compensation, you will need to establish and prove that your contact dermatitis was caused by negligence of your employer and resulted from a failure in a duty of care.

Your employer owes you a duty of care to make sure that the workplace is safe, and working practices should not place you at an excessive risk of sustaining an injury. In the case of contact dermatitis from chemical exposure at work, usually successful claims for compensation for a chemical injury are made for accidents involving chemical spillages in the workplace which were not caused by the accident victim or when employers have not provided appropriate personal protective equipment. You may also be entitled to make a claim for compensation if your employer did not arrange for you to receive training on how to handle chemical safely.

There are a number of possible scenarios under which chemical injury compensation can be claimed against an employer for contact dermatitis which has developed due to work. Your best option is to contact a personal injury solicitor to discuss your case and the circumstances which caused the chemical accident at work which led to you developing contact dermatitis. Only after the circumstances have been assessed will it possible to tell whether you qualify to make claim for chemical injury compensation. It will also be beneficial to speak to a solicitor about the extent of your injuries to determine whether it will be worth your while to make a claim.

You will not be able to make a claim for a chemical injury at work if you were injured in an accident which was primarily your fault. If personal protective equipment such as safety gloves was provided and you chose not to wear them, this is an example of personal negligence with regards to your own safety and would also prevent you from being able to make a compensation claim for a chemical injury. This does not mean that you have to be totally blameless for the accident, only that you cannot have been primarily responsible for it. If you played a small part in the accident, you should still be eligible to make a claim, although any chemical injury compensation would be likely to be reduced to take your contributory negligence into account.

It would be advisable to discuss the circumstances of your chemical accident at work with a personal injury solicitor at the first practical opportunity.