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Contact Dermatitis

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Dermatitis refers to inflamed, swollen, sore or red skin due to external or internal sources. Dermatitis resulting from direct contact of the skin with chemicals, pathogens, bacteria, dust or radiations is known as contact dermatitis. Usually workers in industries such as agriculture, engineering, construction, cleaning, printing and food processing are more likely to be affected by contact dermatitis. If an employee, of any industry, suffers from contact dermatitis due to the unhygienic, unsafe and improperly managed work place the employer could be liable for compensation.

Contact us today to determine if you have a claim for contact dermatitis by calling 08000 430 430 or complete our online enquiry form and we will call you back.

Factors causing Contact Dermatitis

There are several different physical, biological or chemical factors which cause contact dermatitis at the workplace.

  • Contact with toxic or non-toxicchemicals.
  • Contact with fine particles, sands and rough edged gravels.
  • Long contact with water,
  • Contact with fungi, algae, viruses, bacteria and pathogens, or
  • Contact with intense lights, ultraviolet radiations and vibrations.

Some chemicals which can lead to contact dermatitis at workplace are alcohols, fertilizers, pesticides, disinfectants, detergents, dust, oils and greases, acids and alkalis, wet works, soaps and solvents, resins, preservatives, cobalt, nickel, chromium and petroleum products.

Types of Contact Dermatitis

On the basis of contactwith chemicals there are two types of contact dermatitis;

  1. Irritant contact dermatitis (ICD)
  2. Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD)

Irritant Contact Dermatitis (ICD)

  • Irritant contact dermatitis can occur due to the direct,acute or chronic exposure of skin with irritant substances. Contact dermatitis can affect any part of exposed skin but ICD normally affects the hands of victim.
  • Irritant substances in cases of ICD are detergents, solvents, acids and alkalis, cement, dust, powder and plants.
  • Exposure of a single strong irritant or exposure of repeated weaker irritants can cause the effects of ICD.Once the part of skin is damaged by an irritant it could be easily affected by another irritant.
  • Redness, burning, blister and soreness are symptoms of ICD;they appear on the part of skinthat comes in contact with irritant substance.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD)

  • Allergic contact dermatitis is caused by the penetration of allergic substance into the exposed skin – thisis called sensitisation.
  • When a sensitisedindividual comes into contact with an allergic substance again then white blood cells try to protect the body and releases lymphokines. This results in ACD causing pain, itching, swelling and redness of skin.
  • Once the body of a person is sensitized its effects remain for a long time and a very small amount of allergen can cause rashes to such skin.
  • Common allergic substances are cobalt, nickel, additives and preservatives, plants and cosmetics. Symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis are redness, rashes, itching and scaling on the affected skin areas.

Employer’s Responsibility

Employers should undertake reasonablesteps to prevent the contact of employee’s skin with toxic chemicals.Examples of measures they can undertake include:-

  1. replace more toxic substances with safer alternatives,
  2. modify the process to reduce chances of direct contact and cover the chemical process.
  3. provide training to their employees on
    1. safe use of chemicals,
    2. taking care of their skins,
    3. covering their body parts with personal protective equipment and
    4. the importance of frequent washing of contaminated skin.
    5. carry out regular skin checks on their employeesto detect dermatitis at early stage.

Contact Dermatitis Compensation Claim

If an employer fails to prevent their employee from becoming the victim of contact dermatitis withinthe workplace then the employer is responsible for compensation. If you have suffered from contact dermatitis caused by the negligence of your employer than contact us to begin your workplace injury compensation claim.

You can contact us by calling 08000 430 430 or complete our online enquiry form to request a call back.

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