Is it possible to claim occupational dermatitis compensation against my employer? The skin on my hands is broken and my hands bleed. It is so bad I can’t work and I’m even embarrassed to leave the house. Will it be worthwhile making a claim?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

It is possible to claim occupational dermatitis compensation against an employer; however only when the condition has developed as a direct result of avoidable contact with an irritant in the workplace. There are also a number of conditions which must be met in order for an occupational dermatitis compensation claim to be made.

Your employer owes you a duty of care to protect you from harm at work and in order for occupational dermatitis compensation to be awarded there must have been a failure in that duty of care. That failure must also have directly caused you to be injured in order for occupational dermatitis compensation to be claimed. When an employer fails to fulfil a duty of care it is termed negligence. You must be able to prove – with the help of a personal injury solicitor – that your skin condition was a reasonable consequence of that negligence, and occupational dermatitis could have been prevented had your employer fulfilled his legal obligations to you. If evidence of negligence exists and can be presented to support your claim, you will have a good likelihood of recovering occupational dermatitis compensation.

If you are required to use chemicals at work, your employer must supply protective clothing such as safety gloves. If the chemicals used at work are known skin irritants, additional measures such as barrier creams should also have been provided to staff in order to reduce the risk of skin problems. You should also have received training on the correct use of chemicals at work to enable you to take the appropriate measures to prevent injuries from being sustained. A failure in any of these areas constitutes employer negligence and would potentially be grounds for making a claim for occupational dermatitis compensation.

Claims for occupational dermatitis can be complex and are best discussed with a personal injury solicitor. It is important that a claim for occupational dermatitis is thoroughly assessed before legal action is taken to recover occupational dermatitis compensation through the Injuries Board. A personal injury solicitor is in the best position to assess an occupational dermatitis claim, to advise you on the procedures which need to be completed and what evidence will need to be collected to support your claim. A solicitor will advise you on the strength of your occupational dermatitis claim and will be able to give you an indication of the likelihood of successfully recovering occupational dermatitis compensation. When you have all the facts to hand, you can make the decision about filing a claim for occupational dermatitis against your employer’s liability insurance policy. Considering the severity of your condition, you should strongly consider claiming occupational dermatitis compensation if you are eligible to do so.