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Chemical injury claims

If you work with chemicals and you’ve been injured by a chemical accident that wasn’t your fault – if you’ve sustained a chemical burn, or respiratory burn, or you’re living with the aftermath of scars, you could be eligible to claim compensation.

What is a chemical injury?

A chemical injury at work can occur for many reasons, usually through exposure to a harmful substance.

Common sources of chemical exposure include paints and other coatings, cleaning products and detergents, pesticides, industrial solvents and fuels (like gasoline or diesel), lead paint in older homes or vehicles (especially those manufactured before 1978), and tobacco smoke.

In some cases, you may not even be aware that you were exposed to a dangerous chemical until your skin begins to react.

Chemical injury compensation claims

Chemical burns and injuries can stop you from being able to go about your day-to-day life, sometimes for a long period of time. In serious cases, you might have even suffered damage to your nervous system and internal organs, which can have life-changing consequences.

In the short term, you may suffer from severe burns or irritation if your skin has come into contact with dangerous chemicals (or if you’ve inhaled them), or serious eye injuries if a chemical has splashed into your face. But even a small amount of exposure to harmful chemicals can lead to the initial injury becoming serious very quickly.

Chemical burn injuries can be very painful and difficult to come to terms with – but if it was caused by somebody else’s negligence, then this can make your situation even more frustrating.

Although making a claim can’t take back what you’ve been through, getting in touch with a specialist solicitor can help you get your life back on track and recover the costs of your injury.

You can get in touch with a trained legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438 for a chat about the claims process and how you can move forward with your personal injury claim.

Using hazardous substances at work

If you work with potentially harmful liquids and gases, then you’re at greater risk of suffering from a chemical burn injury – especially if your employer has failed to follow health and safety laws put in place to protect you.

While certain types of work do carry significantly more risks than others, all employers have a legal duty to do everything they can to keep you safe.

For example, they should provide proper training and proper protective equipment, as well as carrying out risk assessments to avoid accidents or exposure to hazardous chemicals where possible.

If your employer has not followed these health and safety rules, you might be able to claim chemical burn injury compensation to recover the costs of your injury.

Below, we’ve given some examples of industries which can sometimes lead to chemical burns and injuries:


Agricultural work often involves daily use of pesticides and fertilisers, which may put a farm worker at risk of injury. If you’re an agricultural employee, you may also be at risk of inhaling exhaust fumes from machinery. Read more about making a farm accident claim.


Industrial cleaning products are used in many industries. As with any harsh chemicals, they should come with warning labels and instructions for use. Often, the corrosive cleaning products used can result in skin allergies, severe burns and asthma.


Manufacturing and engineering work often requires the use of adhesive and paints, which could be harmful if they come into contact with your skin. Also, exposure to fumes from soldering and welding can lead to long-term respiratory problems. Find out more about making factory accident claims.

The most common types of chemical injuries

Chemical burns from acids, solvents and oxidising chemicals.

A chemical burn is a type of burn that results from exposure to chemicals. The most common types of chemical burns are acid burns, solvent burns and oxidising chemical burns.

Acid burns are extremely painful and can cause severe damage to tissue and skin. The severity of your injury will depend on how concentrated or strong the acid was, how long it was in contact with your skin, how deep your burn goes into muscle tissue and bone, and whether or not there were any other contributing factors such as allergic reactions or pre-existing medical conditions.

Acetone is one of the most common solvents used in workplaces such as factories and car repair workshops. Acetone can be absorbed through the skin, which can cause serious burns that are painful and take time to heal. If you get acetone on your skin, it could enter your bloodstream and cause permanent nerve damage or blindness if it comes into contact with your eyes.

Alkali burns

When acid is washed off with water, it causes a reaction which increases its temperature up to about 200 degrees centigrade. Where this occurs in the eye it can cause serious corneal damage which may lead to blindness. It will also cause serious burns to the skin.

Chemical gas Inhalation injuries

Gases are another common cause of chemical injuries. The most common types of gases that cause injury are carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), ammonia, chlorine and nitrous oxide.

Gases can be dispersed and inhaled, resulting in injury to your respiratory system. Inhaling the wrong concentration of these gases can cause skin irritation and respiratory damage, potentially leading to death.

Internal injuries from ingesting chemicals

Accidentally ingesting chemicals can lead to serious internal injuries, with potentially fatal consequences.

Treatment for chemical injuries

One of the issues with chemical injuries is that it isn’t always immediately apparent that an injury has occured. Meaning you may not seek treatment straight away which can have a knock on effect with your recovery.

If you have suffered a chemical injury, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Even if your skin is not severely burned and the injury is not life-threatening. The longer you leave it, the more damage the chemicals could be doing to your body.

If you’ve sustained a chemical injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, you could be eligible to make a chemical injury compensation claim to cover the impact the injury has on your life.

To find out if you could be entitled to claim compensation, speak to a specialist legal adviser for a stress free, no obligation consultation today. If they think you have a case, they’ll pass you onto a partner personal injury solicitor.

Your employer’s legal duty of care

Employers have a legal duty to provide a safe workplace. This means that they must ensure that:

  • Employees are properly protected against any hazards associated with their work activities
  • All chemicals should be kept safely stored in sealed containers, and stored where they’re unlikely to be knocked over or damaged
  • Regular risk assessments are carried out to make sure hazards are being taken into consideration. They should then put measures in place to avoid accidents from happening
  • All employees are fully trained in the correct procedures for handling chemicals before they begin any work, including how to avoid hazards. It’s just as important as an employee that you follow any training you’ve been given
  • Employees wear suitable protective clothing when handling chemical substances – this must be given free of charge if required. Protective clothing includings personal protective equipment (PPE) which covers anything that can be used to protect you from injury, and might include a protective apron, gloves, eye goggles, even respiratory protective equipment
  • Employees have adequate training and understand what they should do in the event of an accident or spillage, and that they know where emergency equipment is located and how to use it correctly
  • Training is provided in line with the requirements of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 and other relevant legislation
  • Employees understand their duties and responsibilities under these regulations
  • Employees have the opportunity to raise concerns about potential risks or hazards at work and everyone is encouraged to report such concerns without fear or favour

If your employer has failed to adhere to safety and health regulations and you have become injured as a result, then they could be liable to pay you chemical injury compensation.

What is COSHH?

COSHH, or the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, lists the steps that employers should take to make sure any staff who use strong chemicals as part of their job are as safe as possible.

How much compensation could I receive for my chemical injury claim?

Because no chemical injury is the same, the amount of compensation you could be awarded is also different.

How much compensation you get will depend on several factors including:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The level of pain and suffering that you have or will endure as a result of your injuries
  • The period of time that your injuries may last for
  • The impact they have had upon your working capabilities and earning potential
  • Your ability to go about every life
  • Your ability to do things that were previously not an issue

If your claim goes ahead, you could be eligible to claim in two categories:

  1. General damages – this compensates for things such as pain, suffering, and loss of ability to live a ‘normal’ life
  2. Special damages – this compensates for things such as financial losses you may have experienced because of your chemical injury. This could also include lost earnings, future earnings, savings, pension, treatment costs, even having to pay for a carer

Compensation can include:

  • Lost earnings. Compensation may be paid to compensate for any loss of earnings, including loss of future income if you are unable to return to work.
  • Costs incurred in treating your injuries. If you have incurred medical expenses as a result of treating your chemical injury, compensation may be paid towards those costs. A successful claim can help cover the cost of any treatment you’re receiving, from physiotherapy to medication and hospital visits.
  • Future medical costs. If the chemicals caused an underlying pre-existing condition or illness to worsen, compensation may also be paid towards medical costs associated with that condition or illness.
  • Rehabilitation costs. This includes things such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and home care, as well as equipment required for recovery. This could include wheelchairs or other mobility aids; modifications to your home or vehicle; or even assistive devices like talking watches or phones.

Until your personal injury solicitors begins to negotiate on your behalf you won’t know for certain exactly how much compensation you could be awarded.

To find out more about claiming compensation, get in touch with a trained legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438 for a chat about the claims process, and how you can move forward with your personal injury claim.

Why make a chemical injury claim

If you were injured by chemicals at work and it wasn’t your fault, why should it cost you further? If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should make a no win no fee claim and get financial compensation to help get your life back on track.

Chemical burns can be very serious and very painful. They may even prevent you from working or carrying out everyday tasks while they heal.

If a chemical has come into contact with your skin, it could burn through the skin’s layers and cause nerve damage. This can result in permanent scarring and even lead to deformations if serious enough. Even small chemical injuries—such as an exposure to bleach that causes chapping on your fingers—can become infected and require treatment beyond simply cleaning the area.

Chemical burns can also cause scarring, which can result in disfigurement and physical impairment. In some cases, scarring is so severe that it requires reconstructive surgery or other medical procedures to treat. Scars can also negatively impact your ability to work or perform physical activities.

Scarring can also have long lasting psychological effects as well—symptoms of depression are common among people who have suffered from chemical burns. Scarred skin affects your self-esteem and how others perceive you physically, which may cause social isolation and anxiety when interacting with others in public places like shopping centres or even at the supermarket.

Pursuing personal injury claims

Chemical injuries can be truly life changing. So the first thing you should do is speak to a legal adviser for free legal advice on 0800 234 6438, or fill in the claim form on this page and they’ll call you back.

If they believe you have a claim to make, they’ll pass you over to the personal injury team who will work on your behalf to seek the maximum compensation you deserve.

If your case is successful, it will pay out compensation for any pain and suffering you’ve endured, as well as financial loss caused by your injuries – including costs such as medical bills or lost earnings while recovering from your accident or illness.

Making a no win no fee chemical injury claim

If you’ve suffered from a chemical injury within the last three years and it wasn’t your fault, then it’s likely you’ll be able to make a compensation claim.

The process of making a claim is fairly simple and straightforward, but it’s important to remember that you will need to present a clear and concise case. A good personal injury solicitor will be able to help you prepare your case and highlight any areas where your claim may be at risk of being denied. This can save time later down the line if there are any issues or delays with your claim.

To take the first steps, you can speak to a legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438, or fill in the claim form on this page and they’ll call you back.

It can sometimes be difficult to know whether your accident was somebody else’s fault without speaking to an expert – your legal adviser will have the knowledge to be able to let you know whether you can make a claim, and they’ll pass you on to a specialist solicitor if you decide you want to go ahead.

Your specialist workplace injury solicitors will work on a no win no fee basis meaning there are no upfront fees or hidden costs. However if you win your claim, you will need to pay fees, costs and expenses not covered by the other side out of your compensation money. You will be notified of these costs before you go ahead with the claim so there are no nasty surprises when your claim is settled.

These costs will only be deducted once your compensation claim has been paid. These costs could include:

  • A ‘success’ fee – typically 20% of your compensation money.
  • Legal costs and fees not covered by the other side e.g. legal expense insurance.

If you don’t win your case, there is nothing to pay. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

Other Important Information

*No Win No Fee

  • Although all our cases are handled on a no win no fee basis, other costs could be payable upon solicitors request. These will be fully explained to you before you proceed. Most customers will pay 25% (including VAT) of the compensation they are awarded to their law firm, although this may vary based on individual circumstances. Your solicitor may arrange for insurance to be in place for you to make sure your claim is risk free. Termination fees based on time spent may apply, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation or deliberately misleading our solicitors, or failing to go to any medical or expert examination, or court hearing.
  • *Criminal Injury Claims

  • If you want to make a claim for a criminal injury, you are not required to use the services of a claims management company to pursue the claim. You can submit your claim for free on your own behalf, directly to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (England, Wales, and Scotland) or the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme (Northern Ireland).
About the Author

Nicola Laver LLB

Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.

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If you win your case, your solicitor's success fee will be taken from the compensation you are awarded - up to a maximum of 25%. Your solicitor will discuss any fees before starting your case.