Hairdresser Illness or Injury Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a hairdresser illness or injury, we can help.

If your injuries were caused by your employer or a co-worker, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a work accident compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses. By law, your employer will have insurance to cover the cost of injury claims, and your compensation will be paid out of this policy.

We can help you make a work accident claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article

Introduction

Hairdressers regularly handle potentially hazardous chemicals such as hair dyes that can cause injury or illness if mishandled or regularly used without suitable protection. The physical nature of the role can also present health risks such the development of repetitive strain injury (RSI) or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Owners and operators of salons owe a duty of care to their employees to minimise the risks they face wherever possible.

Where an employer has not done so, and a hairdresser is injured or develops an illness, allergic reaction or other condition as a result, the member of staff may be able to make a claim.

A physical occupation

As they cut and style hair, hairdressers often perform highly repetitive tasks while maintaining awkward postures. This may lead to the development of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs), particularly:

In addition, standing on hard floors for long periods puts stress through the feet, knees and lower back muscles, resulting in pain and stiffness in the knee, ankle and hip joints.

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, employers with more than 5 employees have a duty to assess the risks of WRMSDs so that the necessary preventive and protective measures can be identified and addressed.

Potentially risky equipment

Heat-styling electrical tools such as hairdryers, curling tongs and straighteners all carry risks. If not properly maintained and checked for defects they may overheat, increasing the risk of burns injuries.

The salon's health and safety procedures should insist that the equipment be switched off when not in use.

There is also a risk of electric shock where electrical equipment is used near water, and salons should be arranged so that all such equipment is at a safe distance from basins.

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 require that work equipment is suitable and safe for the work carried out and does not pose any health or safety risk.

Employers must consider the working conditions and work-place risks when selecting equipment; making sure it suitable for its intended use and used with suitable safety measures. It must be properly maintained and inspected as necessary; with employees given adequate information, instruction and training prior to using the equipment.

Exposure to substances hazardous to health

Hairdressers are exposed to many hazardous agents in the workplace, including vapours, solvents, perfumes and dusts. These factors may cause adverse health effects, particularly respiratory (lung) and dermatological (skin) conditions.

Studies have shown an excess risk of developing occupational asthma, rhinitis and other respiratory diseases including hypersensitivity pneumonitis, alveolitis and reduced lung function. These conditions may develop over a period of time depending on whether they are caused by an allergic reaction or chronic irritation.

Dermatitis

Up to 70% of hairdressers sustain work-related skin damage, especially to the hands.

Allergic contact dermatitis is the most common disorder, but burns from chemicals such as bleaches and hair dyes may also occur.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations require that all workers, including hairdressers, are protected from exposure to chemicals and other harmful substances in the workplace. They recommend that employers should use alternatives to harmful chemicals wherever possible, meaning employers must assess the health risks which come from those chemicals and take steps to prevent or control exposure.

The employer should also, wherever appropriate, monitor the hairdressers' exposure and properly inform, instruct and train their employees to deal with harmful chemicals

In addition, employers, the self-employed and those in control of work premises have a duty under Report of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) to report if any of the following occur:

  • A death or major injury such as a chemical burn to the eye
  • An injury that lasts over three days e.g. a serious cut from a razor or scissors
  • Disease, e.g. occupational dermatitis, or

Many hairdressers use protective gloves to protect their skin from chemicals and frequent water exposure. Latex based gloves may also cause latex allergy reactions such as asthma and eczema, so it may be preferable for an employer to provide synthetic gloves made of vinyl or nitrile as an alternative.

Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 came into force on 6 April 2022.

This legislation means that employers have an obligation to provide free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all workers, including workers who are self-employed or on a zero-hours contract.

Under the previous 1992 regulations, employers were only required to provide PPE to employees with a formal employment contract.

PPE such as disposable gloves and face mask should be available to anyone working in a salon, hairdresser, barber.

If you are injured or made ill whilst working as a hairdresser and your employer failed to provide you with suitable PPE, you may be entitled to claim compensation - even if you are self-employed.

Slip and trip accidents

Injuries caused by slips, trips and falls (particular hazards include wet floors, hair clippings and electrical wires) - may all be prevented by implementing a robust health and safety culture and policy, including regular checks and cleaning schedules.

Where a schedule of regular checks is not in place, or the checks are not properly carried out, and a member of staff or patron is injured as a result, it is more likely that the owner of the salon will be found to be negligent.

Do I have an injury claim?

It should be possible to make an injury claim if you were injured:

  • in the last 3 years and;
  • someone else was to blame.

Even if these two points don't apply to you, you may still be able to make a claim.

To find out for sure, speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 376 1001.

A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.

Less than 5% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.

Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.

Read more:

Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Can I claim if the hairdresser illness or injury made an existing injury worse?

Yes, although demonstrating this can be more difficult than proving a straightforward hairdresser illness or injury injury, so legal and medical advice should be sought as early as possible.

No win, no fee, no risk

No Win, No Fee is an agreement with your solicitor (known as a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) that means that you can make an injury claim with:

  • no upfront legal fees
  • no solicitor's fees payable if your claim is not successful
  • a success fee payable only if your claim is successful

No Win, No Fee is the most common way to make a compensation claim.

No win, no fee guarantee

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making an injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?

If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees . Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Is there a catch?

The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.

How we can help you

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:

  • 8am to 9pm weekdays
  • 9am to 6pm on Saturday
  • 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday

Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

Call me back
  • Tick icon FREE consultation
  • Tick icon Find out if you can claim
  • Tick icon No obligation to start a claim

Injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more:

Claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more:

Claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make an injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more:

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

I need the money now - what are my options?

If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.

Read more:

How to I get an interim compensation payment?

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Author:
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher