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Chemical Burn at Work – A Guide to Claiming Compensation

If you suffer a chemical burn at work, there is likely to be a lot of physical pain and suffering until your wounds are treated. In addition, any scarring or deformities could lead to emotional suffering like distress, anxiety and embarrassment. Crucially, if you’ve been burnt at work by chemicals following an incident caused by your employer’s negligence, you’d be well within your rights to sue for compensation. This guide explores how to claim compensation for chemical burns at work and how much compensation might be awarded.

If you are seeking compensation for chemical burns, we can help. Initially, a specialist advisor will review your claim, for free, and explain your legal options. You’re under no obligation to begin a chemical burn claim with us but if your claim is feasible, one of our No Win, No Fee accident-at-work solicitors may offer legal representation.

If you’d like to know more about how we can help with chemical burn claims, you can:

  • Call our legal advisors on 0333 241 2519.
  • Use our 24/7 online chat service.

Seeking legal advice promptly after sustaining chemical burns can significantly increase the chances of being compensated for your pain and suffering, and any monetary losses you’ve experienced because of the incident.

Types of Chemical Burns We Can Help With

There are 4 main categories of burns we can help with claiming compensation when negligence of an employer is involved:

  • Epidermal Burns (superficial): Affecting only the outer layer of skin (epidermis).
  • Dermal Burns (superficial): Affecting the epidermis and the next layer of skin (the dermis).
  • Partial-Thickness Burns: Skin can become blistered, swollen and red after both the dermis and epidermis are damaged. You may suffer a lot of pain.
  • Full-Thickness Burns: Damage extends into the third layer of skin (the subcutis). Skin can burn away in full-thickness burns while body tissues and muscles may also be affected.

If you have suffered any type of chemical burn injury from an accident at work, you may be entitled to claim for the suffering caused.

Can I Claim Compensation for a Chemical Burn at Work?

While you are working, your employer has a legal obligation to take steps keep you as safe as possible. That means they need to risk assess the workplace regularly to remove any obvious hazards. This ‘duty of care’ is established by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Chemical burn claims may be possible following an accident at work if:

  • At the time of the incident, your employer owed you a legal duty of care; and
  • You had an accident in the last three years caused by your employer’s negligence; and
  • Your chemical burn injuries can be linked directly to that negligence.

If you believe that you can sue for chemical burns at work, call our legal advisors now to learn more about your options.

What Types of Negligence Can Lead to Chemical Burns?

Some simple examples of how chemical burns can occur due to a negligent employer include:

  • If you spilt chemicals on your skin while preparing a cleaning solution and suffered first-degree burns because you had not been trained on how to handle chemicals safely.
  • Where you got burned by chemicals used in a manufacturing process because there wasn’t a Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) data sheet available to you.
  • If damaged machinery leaked chemicals onto you and caused full-thickness burns.
  • Where your eyes were damaged while using workplace chemicals because your employer didn’t have protective goggles for you to use.
  • If a forklift accident caused chemicals stored in a warehouse to spill and you were burnt by the resulting leakage.

Even if we’ve not described your accident at work here, so long as you can show that your employer caused your accident, one of our solicitors could start a chemical burn compensation claim for you.

What Should I Do If I’ve Sustained a Chemical Burn at Work?

If you are burnt by chemicals in your workplace, you should:

  • Immediately contact the workplace first aider. In many cases, chemical burns require hospital treatment so you may need to call 999 or attend A&E.
  • When it is possible, you should report the accident to your employer.
  • Ensure that the incident is logged in the company’s accident report book.

By taking the steps above, your injuries will be treated as quickly as possible and your employer can use the information provided to help prevent others from being burnt by chemicals in similar incidents in the future. Furthermore, you will have now gathered some evidence you could use to support a chemical burn claim. More about this, next.

What Evidence Can Be Used for Chemical Burn Claims?

If you claim compensation after sustaining chemical burns at work, you will often be referred to your employer’s insurance provider. They will only agree to pay compensation for your injuries if you can prove how the accident happened, why your employer was to blame and the full extent of your suffering.

The types of evidence you could use to do this include:

  • Photographs that show any visible burns or scars.
  • Details of anyone who saw what happened so that witness statements can be collected if necessary.
  • Medical confirmation of your injuries such as copies of hospital records.
  • Video footage or pictures of the accident scene.
  • A copy of an accident report form to help prove where and when you were injured.

As part of our free initial consultation, we are happy to assess any evidence you’ve secured so far. As such, if you’d like to discuss a work-related chemical burn claim, please call our legal advisors now.

How Long Do I Have to Claim Chemical Burn at Work Compensation?

In UK law, a 3-year time limit applies to most accident-at-work claims. This is described by the Limitation Act 1980. In the majority of chemical burns claims, the 3 years will commence on the date of your accident.

Crucially, the Limitation Act allows claims to be barred if they are made outside of the 3-year claims window. Therefore, it is best to get the process started at the earliest opportunity to avoid missing out on any compensation you might be entitled to.

chemical burns at work background

Start the process of claiming compensation for chemical burns at work with our complimentary free consultation.

With 30+ years of experience, our solicitors are committed to providing a 100% No Win, No Fee injury claims service, effectively giving claimants a risk-free way to pursue the compensation they deserve.

Start a Claim

Or call us on 0333 241 2519 to speak with a legal advisor.

How Much Compensation for Chemical Burns at Work?

The chemical burn compensation amount paid in successful claims is normally dependent on several factors. Firstly, the extent of your burns, the amount of suffering and the impact of your injuries on your life (loss of amenity) must be considered.

Therefore, your solicitor will generally use hospital records and an independent medical assessment report to get a good understanding of how your chemical burns have affected you. They will then use settlement brackets from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) and may refer to similar claims to value your injuries.

If your chemical burn claim is won, you might also receive compensation to cover any financial losses incurred because of your injuries. For instance, your payout could compensate you for:

  • Medical treatment costs (including private hospital surgery if required).
  • The cost of a carer or full-time nursing.
  • Travel costs.
  • Lost income (and predicted future lost income).
  • The cost of making changes to your vehicle or home that are a necessity for more serious personal injuries.
  • Replacement property costs.

To help prove any losses, you should keep a record of your spending along with any relevant receipts, pay slips or bank statements.

Can I Claim Chemical Burns Compensation if I’m Not a Full-Time Employee?

As discussed at the beginning of this guide, employers owe their staff a duty of care with regard to workplace health and safety. It is important to note that this duty is relevant to all employees – not just full-time workers.

As such, zero-hours staff, agency workers, contractors, the self-employed, consultants and temporary staff may all be entitled to compensation for chemical burns so long as they can show employer negligence caused their suffering.

Will I Be Fired for Claiming Against My Employer?

Legally, you should not fear the consequences of making a personal injury claim against your employer. So long as your chemical burn at work claim is for a genuine injury, you cannot be fired, disciplined, picked on, bullied or demoted.

If you have been singled out in any way as a result of your claim, you may wish to speak to a member of our team about starting separate legal action for unfair or constructive dismissal.

Do You Need a Solicitor for Chemical Burns Claims?

If you decide to claim for work-related chemical burns compensation, the claims process may be simplified if you seek legal representation. Not only should having an accident-at-work solicitor on your side make the process less stressful, but it could also lead to a higher compensation payout.

For instance, some of the services our work injury solicitors may carry out as part of a chemical burn at work compensation claim include:

  • Collecting evidence to help prove your case.
  • Filing the claim on time and in the correct format.
  • Negotiating on your behalf and trying to deal with any objections raised.
  • Sending you regular updates about how your claim is progressing.
  • Fighting your corner to try and secure the highest possible amount of compensation.

Also, our solicitors provide a No Win, No Fee injury claims service for any case they agree to work on. That means that:

  • No legal fees for your solicitor’s work are paid upfront.
  • If your claim fails, you don’t pay for your solicitor’s work.
  • A success fee will be deducted from any compensation you’re awarded.

The type of contract our solicitors use is called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). If a CFA is used, 25 per cent is the maximum success fee percentage allowed by law.

To see if you could be entitled to start a No Win, No Fee chemical burn compensation claim, please call our team today.

Will My Claim Go to Court?

In our experience, most work-related chemical burn claims are settled amicably out of court. However, your solicitor may choose to schedule a hearing if:

  • They strongly believe that you have a solid claim; but
  • Your employer refuses to accept liability for your suffering; or
  • Their settlement offer is far too low.

In the unlikely event that a claim does end up in court, your solicitor will manage the whole process on your behalf.

How Long Will My Claim Take?

The time it takes for a chemical burn claim to be settled is based on several factors including:

  • The extent of your initial injuries.
  • How long you will take to fully recover (if at all).
  • Whether your employer agrees that they were to blame.

If you suffered minor chemical burns and your employer doesn’t contest liability, you could receive compensation within 4 to 6 months.

In more complex cases involving life-changing injuries, for instance, the claims process can take more than a year. However, you could be awarded interim compensation before your claim is settled so long as liability for your accident and injuries has been proven or accepted.

Contacting Us About a Chemical Burn Compensation Claim

If you’d like to begin a work-related chemical burn claim, you can:

  • Speak to a legal advisor by calling 0333 241 2519.
  • Use our online chat service at a time that’s convenient for you.

We offer a completely free initial consultation for any sort of work injury claim. We won’t put any pressure on you to sue your employer but you can still receive free legal advice about how to proceed. If you decide to take legal action against your employer, it’s worth remembering that all chemical burn claims handled by our solicitors are managed on a No Win, No Fee basis.

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