Am I entitled to claim hand injury at work compensation if I work in a hairdressers and have been diagnosed with contact dermatitis by my doctor?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Question:

Am I entitled to claim hand injury at work compensation if I work in a hairdressers and have been diagnosed with contact dermatitis by my doctor?

Answer:

There are a number of ways in which your employer should prevent the risk of contact dermatitis at work – from limiting the number of clients you attend each day to providing you with latex gloves to eliminate your contact with water – and, should they fail in any of their health and safety obligations, you should be able to claim hand injury at work compensation.

However, proving that your employer is liable for your hand injury at work is often difficult to establish in these circumstances when you may be in contact with the same amount of water or similar chemicals during your regular day-to-day activities – for example when you are washing up at home. Consequently, it is in your best interests to discuss what you believe may be the causes of your contact dermatitis with a solicitor to establish that you have a claim for compensation for a hand injury at work which is worth your while to pursue.

If, after talking with a solicitor, you believe that you have a viable hand injury at work compensation claim, your solicitor will help you to prepare and submit an application for assessment to the Injuries Board Ireland – ensuring that the consequences of your hand injury are included in the application form in order to maximise how much compensation for a hand injury at work is claimed.

Your solicitor will also be able to assist you if liability for your hand injury is denied by your employer and your application for assessment subsequently declined by the Injuries Board Ireland, or if the amount assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland does not represent a true reflection of your hand injury at work and the impact it has on your quality of life.

In respect of the impact that a hand injury at work has your quality of life, it is recommended that you maintain a diary to record times when your dermatitis prevents you from completing day-to-day activities without discomfort or inhibits you from participating in leisure and social events. As your doctor has now diagnosed your condition and more than likely prescribed some form of treatment, it is possible that by the time you apply for hand at work injury compensation, many of these inconveniences will have been forgotten when you speak with a solicitor and could be omitted from your claim.

Please note that if you are under the age of eighteen, you will need to be represented by a parent or guardian acting as your “next friend” when you make your claim for compensation. A claim for hand injury at work cannot be pursued independently until you become a legal adult and, should you not yet be eighteen years of age, it would have to be a parent or guardian who contacted the solicitor on your behalf.