A Guide to Claiming Hairdresser Illness or Injury Compensation
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
The following guide looks at everything you must know about making a hairdresser accident compensation claim.
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?
You should be able to make a hairdresser illness or injury claim if your injury occurred:
- in the last three years and,
- someone else was at fault.
If these two points don't apply to you, a compensation claim may still be a possibility.
To get impartial advice on whether you have a claim, speak to one of our experts on 0800 612 7456.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.
Alternatively you can try our Online Claim Checker.
What if the injury was diagnosed years after the event?
Typically, the dates of the injury and accident are the same. However, some injuries manifest themselves months or even years after the accident or exposure.
In this case, the clock starts ticking on the date of discovery (the date of diagnosis) of the injury rather than the date of the accident.
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 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 are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
See a list of what you can claim for:
Examples of special damages include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
Find out what your claim could be worth now
Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated.
If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.
Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your hairdresser illness or injury case 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.
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 .
How can Quittance help?
Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.
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:Call me back
No Win, No Fee
to start a claim
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.
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.
How long will my claim take?
The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.
For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.
Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.
Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:
Personal injury claim type
Estimated claim duration*
4 to 9 months
6 to 9 months
12 to 36 months
12 to 18 months
6 to 9 months
3 to 4 months**
12 to 18 months**
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s 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.
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.
Can I get an interim compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim interim compensation payments.
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.
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert