I am enquiring about pursuing occupational dermatitis claims. A couple of weeks ago my local GP told me that I may be suffering from dermatitis, which although not a surprise given my symptoms, still left me a bit taken aback. My doctor told me that my condition is most likely work related (I work in a hospital), which has led me to pursue a claim for compensation. Am I eligible?
Whether or not you are entitled to claim compensation depends on who is responsible for causing your injuries. If indeed it is your employer as your doctor believes it may be, you may be eligible to claim for compensation. Hospitals, along with garages, factories, printers and cleaning firms, are thought to be among the workplaces where the risk of dermatitis and other skin conditions is higher – mainly due to the presence of large amounts of chemicals.
Proving that your dermatitis developed as a result of your working conditions can be tough though, and a full medical examination is an essential first step in pursuing occupational dermatitis claims. Procuring a medical report which shows that your dermatitis was caused by chemicals you were exposed to in work would be useful, although this is easier said than done. Cleaning products and equipment that you use at home or in your car for example, could also have factored in the development of your dermatitis; if this is the case, any award you may be entitled to would be reduced to reflect what might be seen as your own contribution to the condition.
If you can obtain evidence that your condition was caused – or at least partly caused – by unsafe or unsuitable working conditions, it is important that you do not exacerbate it as your employer may claim that you worsened your dermatitis by not caring for it properly – this could also see you forced to forfeit a portion of your award. Avoiding perfumes and soaps, taking showers instead of baths and avoiding contact with any of the chemicals that you believe led to the condition developing may prevent the condition from worsening.
Pursuing occupational dermatitis claims can be stressful and time consuming, and are best handled with the advice of a legal expert – which as mentioned above, is possible via our freephone injury claims advice service.