Is it possible to make a work rash compensation claim? I have been working as a hospital cleaner for just over a year, and in that time have developed a persistent and irritating rash. Although I have yet to visit a doctor I’m sure it is being caused by one or more of the chemicals I use at work. Am I eligible to make a claim?
You may be eligible to make a work rash compensation claim if you can prove that it was your employer’s negligence that led to you developing the rash. While one or more of the chemicals with which you work may be the cause of the rash, this is not sufficient enough evidence on which to base a claim, and you must be able to prove that your employer failed in their duty of care in order to be eligible to pursue a settlement.
Employers have a responsibility to protect their employees from harm by taking all possible measures to ensure their safety. In your case this means providing you with the appropriate protective clothing – gloves, face mask, overalls if necessary – to ensure that the risk of harm is as small as possible. A failure to provide the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) may allow you to pursue a claim.
As you mentioned in your question, you have not had your rash examined by a doctor – this should be your first priority. Not only will having your rash examined and diagnosed be of benefit to your health, it will also provide you with a full medical report on the condition; an essential piece of evidence. In order to obtain a medical report, you should visit your local GP or hospital’s Accident and Emergency department without delay.
As a rash is a highly visible injury, you should take photographs to illustrate the severity of your condition and back up the medical report you received from your doctor. This will serve as evidence of the condition should it clear up before your work rash compensation claim can be resolved.
While it is almost always possible to pursue a claim for compensation if you can prove that your employer’s negligence led to you coming to harm, it should be noted that claimants may be forced to forfeit a portion of their settlement if they are found to have contributed to their own injuries. Claimants who refuse to wear appropriate safety clothing when working with potentially harmful chemicals for example, may have the value of their settlement reduced to reflect their own contribution to their injuries.
If you believe you are entitled to make a claim for compensation you should contact an experienced personal injury claims solicitor at the first possible opportunity. As you can imagine, a work rash compensation claim can be a difficult task to execute alone and the help of an experienced solicitor can make the process less daunting.