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Chemical accidents

Your guide to claiming compensation for an injury or illness caused by a workplace chemical accident

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I am very happy and satisfied with the settlement you achieved for me and the service was excellent and thank you very much

Mrs E.Swaffield
Loughborough

Chemical accidents explained

Serious injuries caused by chemical accidents are a potential risk no matter where you work. You don’t have to work in a factory or processing plant to be handling a chemical solution or dye. Whether you’re employed in industrial coatings or at a hairdressing salon, you may have been asked to carry out a task involving toxic or highly flammable chemicals without proper training or the right personal protective equipment (PPE). 

Directly handling corrosive chemicals without the correct gloves, eye protection or work wear can cause severe burns, disfigurement and allergic reactions. Spillages and leaks are also a common hazard. The effect on your health of unsafe exposure to dangerous chemicals or substances over a period of time may not always be so easy to recognise until symptoms become severe.

In addition, a lack of proper training, information and warning signs can lead to corrosive, flammable liquids or compressed gases being stored or handled carelessly.  A further danger is electrical faults, which can start a fire or cause an explosion and release toxic chemical fumes.

Your occupation may involve using potentially dangerous chemicals as part of the company’s expected daily routine. Typical examples can often include a farm or agricultural worker, vehicle mechanic, hairdresser, cleaner or pest controller.

In some cases, employers may simply overlook or neglect basic safety guidelines and risk putting your health in danger.

To succeed in a claim for an injury caused by a chemical accident, you will need to show that your employer should have reasonably “foreseen” that exposure to substances could cause injury or damage to health.

As experienced personal injury specialists, we have over 30 years of experience in managing compensation cases involving accidents at work.  We are committed to guiding you through every step of the process and ensuring that your claim is handled carefully and professionally by specialist solicitors with a record of success in this field.

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Our expert team will call you...

Alison Saul, Director of Personal Injury leads our Personal Injury and Road Accident teams. A fully qualified solicitor with over 15 years of experience and expertise, Alison is dedicated to achieving the highest levels of compensation for her clients as well as ensuring high quality client care.

Our work accident claims expert team.

Alison is assisted by her team managers, Philip Waters Lee Quinn, Jenna Hargreaves, and Kathryn Langton. Philip, Lee, and Jenna lead legal teams focussing on Road Traffic Accident cases while Kathyrn leads our Personal Injury team. Together they have a wealth of experience in personal injury compensation.

Philip, a qualified solicitor, has over 18 years’ experience in personal injury compensation. Having previously worked for a large insurance company, he has extensive insights in how to engage effectively with insurers to achieve the level of compensation our clients deserve. Philip deals with cases of high value, complex cases, and recently secured £1.6 million in compensation for one of his clients who suffered catastrophic injuries in a road accident.

Lee has over 15 years’ specialist experience in Personal Injury claims and also manages a wide variety of high value, complex cases. Lee has extensive experience of working with insurance companies, acting for both claimants and defendants, and so understands how to secure the highest levels of compensation for the victims of road traffic accidents.

Jenna is a qualified solicitor and has studied to become a barrister. Jenna leads the internal reviews of our case management processes to ensure excellent, efficient case handling and high levels of client satisfaction.

Kathryn, also a qualified solicitor, specialises in accidents at work, public liability and accidents abroad. Kathryn deals with a wide variety of cases, often including accidents that involve serious, complex injuries.

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There are many people injured in accidents each year through no fault of their own and the circumstances will be different in each instance. Our team has extensive experience of successfully managing a wide range of personal injury claims, so we can help you secure the maximum compensation you deserve.

Alison Saul

Director of Personal Injury

What our customers say

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“I found the staff to be friendly, helpful, courteous and they kept me well informed on a regular basis”

Mrs. Vora,
Loughborough

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“They acted in a sympathetic and professional manner and resolved my case very efficiently”

Mr Dowse
Leeds

  For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today 0151 550 5228

10 simple steps to claim

Step
1
Obtaining a full description of your accident
Step
2
Obtaining your medical records
Step
3
Contacting the company responsible for your accident
Step
4
Arranging your medical assessment
Step
5
Collating details of your financial loss
Step
86
Negotiating the maximum settlement possibleProviding you with our valuation of your losses
Step
7
Sending your valuation to the other party's insurer
Step
68
Providing you with our valuation of your lossesNegotiating the maximum settlement possible
Step
9
Issuing Court proceedings
Step
10
Sending you your compensation payment

Your questions... answered

What are my employer’s responsibilities when it comes to chemical accidents?

Under Control of Substances Hazardous To Health (COSHH) regulations, employers are legally required to control substances that are hazardous to health and prevent exposure to them, by taking the following steps:

  • Find out exactly what the health risks are to employees
  • Carry out risk assessments to decide how to prevent injury and harm
  • Put control measures in place to reduce harm to health and ensure they are implemented.

Employers must also provide information, instruction and training for employees and others, with monitoring and health surveillance where necessary.

Chemicals, liquids or dyes used in a number of workplaces may be corrosive or toxic and will cause chemical injury or other damage. Working with harmful and dangerous substances in the workplace poses a severe risk of health damage if employers do not provide the relevant training, safety equipment or try to eliminate exposure where possible.

An employer should put into place and ensure the enforcement of:

  • Correct handling and storage procedures
  • Wearing of the correct type of personal protection equipment (PPE)

Classification of chemicals includes categories such as:

  • Toxic by inhalation and if swallowed
  • Very toxic to aquatic organisms
  • Keep locked up and out of reach of children
  • In case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice.
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What are workplace exposure limits?

Many types of substances, chemicals and dyes, which are used widely in different industries, can have extremely harmful side effects, depending on the type and extent of exposure.

Health damage may be caused in a number of ways, such as:

  • Breathing in fumes
  • Absorption through the skin
  • Being swallowed
  • Direct skin contact

WELs are the UK limits that indicate how long an employee should be allowed to work with concentrations of hazardous substances in the air.

Short-term is 15 minutes – intended to help prevent effects such as eye irritation, which may occur following a brief exposure.

Long-term is 8 hours - where exposure is at a low level and the effects of a chemical injury may only become known when the symptoms eventually appear and are able to be diagnosed.

Chemical poisoning can lead to a variety of symptoms, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal heart beat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin rash or irritation 
Read less

Under Control of Substances Hazardous To Health (COSHH) regulations, employers are legally required to control substances that are hazardous to health and prevent exposure to them, by taking the following steps:

  • Find out exactly what the health risks are to employees
  • Carry out risk assessments to decide how to prevent injury and harm
  • Put control measures in place to reduce harm to health and ensure they are implemented.

Employers must also provide information, instruction and training for employees and others, with monitoring and health surveillance where necessary.

Chemicals, liquids or dyes used in a number of workplaces may be corrosive or toxic and will cause chemical injury or other damage. Working with harmful and dangerous substances in the workplace poses a severe risk of health damage if employers do not provide the relevant training, safety equipment or try to eliminate exposure where possible.

An employer should put into place and ensure the enforcement of:

  • Correct handling and storage procedures
  • Wearing of the correct type of personal protection equipment (PPE)

Classification of chemicals includes categories such as:

  • Toxic by inhalation and if swallowed
  • Very toxic to aquatic organisms
  • Keep locked up and out of reach of children
  • In case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice.
Read less

Many types of substances, chemicals and dyes, which are used widely in different industries, can have extremely harmful side effects, depending on the type and extent of exposure.

Health damage may be caused in a number of ways, such as:

  • Breathing in fumes
  • Absorption through the skin
  • Being swallowed
  • Direct skin contact

WELs are the UK limits that indicate how long an employee should be allowed to work with concentrations of hazardous substances in the air.

Short-term is 15 minutes – intended to help prevent effects such as eye irritation, which may occur following a brief exposure.

Long-term is 8 hours - where exposure is at a low level and the effects of a chemical injury may only become known when the symptoms eventually appear and are able to be diagnosed.

Chemical poisoning can lead to a variety of symptoms, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal heart beat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin rash or irritation 
Read less