If dermatitis has set you back, we'll help you move forward

Occupational dermatitis claims typically arise from skin conditions due to workplace exposures.

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by dermatitis, we can help. If your condition was caused by your employer or a co-worker, you may be entitled to claim compensation for medical treatment costs, the impact on your employment, and any personal discomfort.

You can make a No Win, No Fee compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

With 15,000 workers affected by work-caused dermatitis each year, you are not alone

An estimated 15,000 people were working in 2022/23 with skin problems caused or made worse by their work (hse.gov.uk).

Contact dermatitis is a skin condition characterised by redness, itching, blisters and cracking. The condition commonly occurs among hairdressers, cleaners and chemical workers, whose arms and hands are regularly exposed to dyes, bleaches and other irritant and allergenic chemicals.

If dermatitis is caused or brought on by work or a work-related activity, a work-related illness claim for compensation can usually be made.

If you decide to make a dermatitis claim, your solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you need to move forward.

If you are looking for information on dermatitis symptoms and treatment, see: contact dermatitis (nhs.uk).

Do I qualify for dermatitis compensation?

If you've been injured or made ill in the last three years and it wasn't your fault, then you will be entitled to claim compensation for dermatitis.

Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.

Compensation claims with shared fault

It's not unusual for personal injury claims to involve fault on both sides.

In our 2024 Work Injury Claimant Survey, we found that 26.02% of injured workers felt they had at least some responsibility for the injuries they sustained.

You could still be able to claim even if you were partly responsible for your illness. If you were injured at work, you can claim compensation from your employer under the principle of vicarious liability - even if you or another employee caused your illness.

Read more:

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

How long do I have to make a dermatitis injury claim?

For most injury claims, you have up to 3 years from the date of your injury to start the claims process.

If your injury or illness is not immediately apparent, the 3-year time limit starts from the date that you injury or illness was diagnosed and your were informed of the likely caused.

The 3 year limitation period does not apply to minors (under 18s). A parent, guardian or litigation friend can start a claim on a child's behalf up to their 18th birthday and the child has until their 21st birthday to claim for themselves.

How much compensation can I claim for a dermatitis?

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

  • the seriousness 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 injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

Dermatitis compensation calculator

Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.

Updated July 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

General damages

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

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

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred because of your accident. In addition to paying for lost wages, bonuses, benefits and other perks, special damages can cover any care costs and medical procedures you need, such as topical corticosteroids, moisturisers and antihistamines.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

Mental health support after a work accident

In addition to physical injuries, a work accident can inflict lasting psychological harm.

Our 2024 Work Injury Claimant Survey reveals the extent of psychological trauma, with 25.00% of claims involving a psychological injury, 64.09% of which related to a physical injury.

Skin conditions like dermatitis can lead to social anxiety (social phobia) and self-consciousness, particularly in visible areas. In turn, this can lead to isolation and depression.

Even after your physical recovery or rehabiliation is complete, hidden psychological injuries can take longer to heal.

Factoring compensation for psychological harm will ensure you receive mental health support and other therapies that may not be readily available on the NHS in your area.

Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.

Understanding work-related dermatitis claims in the UK

Working with wet hands, and contact with soap and other cleaning materials, are the most common causes. Others include latex, rubber, petroleum, cements, flour and nickel. Dermatitis can also be biological (plant or bacteria), physical (vibration or radiation) or mechanical (abrasion).

The condition can be caused by prolonged exposure, excessive exposure, splashes, touches or contaminated surfaces. Alternatively, airborne substances can deposit on the skin.

According to the HSE, occupations with the highest rates are florists, hairdressers, cooks, beauticians, and certain manufacturing and health care related occupations (THOR-EPIDERM).

Hands are most at risk, but dermatitis can affect the face and other parts of the body. A difficult condition to live with, it can cause significant pain and discomfort. Some people become permanently sensitised to certain substances, and may have to give up work because of it.

When is dermatitis cause for a claim?

Employers are legally required to protect employees from workplace hazards, including substances causing dermatitis. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (hse.gov.uk) and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) (hse.gov.uk) regulations, employers must take reasonable steps to identify, assess, and minimize workers' exposure to these hazards.

This risk management should include providing training, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and appropriate tools and facilities. Failure to carry out appropriate risks assessments and to mitigate risks can amount to negligence, and this would entitle affected employees to claim compensation for occupational dermatitis.

Read more:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) injury claims

How do I prove my dermatitis is work-related?

The first obstacle in a dermatitis compensation claim is demonstrating that the condition is work-related. Even where a dermatologist confirms you have dermatitis, establishing the cause can sometimes be difficult.

Demonstrating when symptoms occurred and if they correlated with a new job or a change in work conditions, such as the introduction of a new chemical or substance, can be vital.

Any evidence that can be gathered will be important. This includes:

  • Medical diagnosis and prognosis on the condition
  • Company accident records if it was caused by a single incident
  • Physical proof of the suspected causal agent, including insufficient PPE
  • Documented evidence of the companies health and safety procedures
  • Witness accounts from fellow colleagues

An employer could argue in their defence that adequate safety measures were in place, and that the employee contributed to their health condition by not following the correct practices or wearing the specified safety gear. You may still be able to claim compensation in these situations, although the amount of compensation you receive could be reduced.

How did your injury happen?

The claims process will vary depending on how your dermatitis happened. Click the icons below to learn more:

No win, no fee dermatitis compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim dermatitis compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

Get expert advice now

Interested in talking to a workplace illness specialist about your claim?

  • Calls are FREE
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  • No obligation to claim

Call 0800 376 1001

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Source: (reviewed: 10/12/2023)

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher