A Guide to Claiming Hairdresser Illness or Injury Compensation

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

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a hairdresser illness or injury and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

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.

Do I have a hairdresser illness or injury claim?

It should be possible to make a hairdresser illness or injury claim if you were injured:

  • in the last three 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 612 7456.

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

You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.

How much compensation can I claim for a hairdresser illness or injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your hairdresser illness or injury will depend on:

  • the extent of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your hairdresser illness or injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after a hairdresser illness or injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

What is the average injury compensation for a hairdresser illness or injury claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following a hairdresser illness or injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your hairdresser illness or injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

See the injury table above for some examples.

Is it worth claiming for multiple minor injuries?

Yes. even relatively minor injuries can result in reasonable compensation settlements, especially if you have incurred expenses or taken time off work as a result of the accident.

Hairdresser illness or injury compensation calculator

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a hairdresser illness or injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your hairdresser illness or injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a hairdresser injury claim take?

How long it can take to settle a hairdresser injury claim can vary significantly.

If your employer does not contest the claim, it could be completed in a month or two. If the employer denies liability, a compensation claim can take substantially longer. Normally a work accident claim will take 6 to 9 months. For more information, see:

How long will my claim take?

Will I still be able to claim for a hairdresser illness or injury after the law changes in April 2020?

The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.

You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).

In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your hairdresser illness or injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

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.

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.

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 a hairdresser illness or 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 a hairdresser illness or injury compensation claim.

What do I pay if I win my hairdresser illness or 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 hairdresser illness or injury claim?

If your hairdresser illness or injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees .

Read more about how no win, no fee works

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 can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, 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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Hairdresser illness or 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 about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

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 about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a hairdresser illness or injury claim?

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

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

Can I claim for a hairdresser illness or 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 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim hairdresser illness or injury compensation.

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

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 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 held in front of a judge, not a jury.

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

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

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?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert