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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Accidentally ingesting chemicals can lead to serious internal injuries, with potentially fatal consequences.
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.
Employers have a legal duty to provide a safe workplace. This means that they must ensure that:
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.
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.
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:
If your claim goes ahead, you could be eligible to claim in two categories:
Compensation can include:
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.
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.
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.
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:
If you don’t win your case, there is nothing to pay. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
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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