I told my employer I want to claim work rash compensation and he just laughed and said there was no such thing. My work rash is really painful and sore and I have not been able to sleep properly and I have had it for over two weeks. Can I make a claim?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Although a work rash may not appear to be a serious medical condition to your employer, it is possible to claim work rash compensation if you have developed the rash at work as a direct result of his or her negligence. If your employer has failed in a duty of care to protect you from injury, such as by failing to provide personal protective equipment in an environment which may contain allergens, this would certainly give you grounds to make a work rash compensation claim.

However, in order for a work rash compensation claim to be successful you must have seen a doctor about your work rash and obtained a diagnosis and treatment. A work rash can have numerous causes and it is important that the causative agent is identified to help prevent further injury at work. A rash may also be secondary to another health problem which may not be work related, and it is important that your rash is diagnosed as work related by your doctor.

You must also make a report in your employer’s accident book and must state when the rash first appeared and what you suspect caused your skin rash. The accident report must provide a reason why you believe the rash has been caused due to your work and why your employer is responsible for your injury.

In order to assess whether it is worthwhile making a claim for work rash compensation, you should speak with a personal injury solicitor for advice. After assessing your eligibility to make a work rash compensation claim, you will be advised on the general level of work rash compensation which would be applicable in your case. You can then make a decision about whether a claim for work rash compensation can be justified based on the level of compensation you are likely to receive.

You should bear in mind that due to the high excess on most insurance policies in Ireland, your claim for work rash compensation may have important financial implications for your employer. While this should not deter you from claiming work rash compensation if you have genuinely been injured at work, it is something that employees should consider carefully in order to avoid repercussions at a later stage. When claims are for very low levels of compensation and no associated expenses, employers can view claimants unfavourably. If you have lost out financially, and your injury is serious, employers are usually understanding when they are made aware of the injury and its implications to the claimant.