Occupational dermatitis (skin conditions/disease)
Occupational dermatitis is any inflammation or damage caused to the skin as a result of your working environment, including exposure to damaging or corrosive substances. Whilst the severity and symptoms of the condition can vary widely, it can be a serious condition and like many industrial diseases will worsen with time.
The symptoms too can vary widely. Usually, the first sign of irritation will be redness and itchy areas of skin, occasionally with swelling. As the irritation becomes more severe, blisters may develop and once these burst may become infected. Depending on the substance, the skin can sometimes thicken, eventually forming growths which in serious cases can become cancerous. It is usually the hands and lower arms that come into contact with substances, but any part of the body can be affected. Whilst dermatitis is not contagious, it will get worse with time and if left untreated can spread to other parts of the body. It is essential to take action as soon as possible to prevent long term problems developing.
Your workplace should have a risk assessment in place, with recommendations for safe working. They are required by law to take preventative measures wherever possible and, when exposure to certain harmful substances is unavoidable, do everything they can to minimise the risk of exposure. Safety methods include the provision of protective clothing such as aprons and gloves, information on how best to transport and handle harmful substances, and health and safety checks in the workplace. If you are concerned that you may be affected by exposure to harmful substances and are suffering from occupational dermatitis, you may feel that raising a claim against your employer is the inevitable next step.
If you wish to discuss your personal situation further with experts in the field of industrial diseases, contact us today for professional help and advice. You can call us and speak to a member of our team on 0800 1123 256, text ‘contact’ to 80011* or select ‘Make a claim’ above.