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Health and safety at work are paramount; your employer has a duty of care to all of their employees, regardless of workplace. Factory accident claims are unfortunately common, from handling accidents to chemical burns.

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, your employer has a duty to adhere to regulations and standards when it comes to chemicals:

  • Protecting employees and other persons from risks to both health and safety.
  • Keeping a controlled use of highly flammable materials, chemical substances, or explosives.
  • Ensuring health, safety, and welfare of everyone in the workplace.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) requires employers to protect their employees from hazardous substances and to take essential steps to maintain their safety when handling these substances.

What are the Symptoms of Chemical Burns?

A chemical burn occurs when the skin or the eyes come into contact with certain irritants. These can be sodium hydroxide, nitric acid, ammonia, or sulphuric acid. Bleach can also cause chemical burns, as it’s a very common irritant in workplaces like factories and hospitals.

Some symptoms of chemical burns are:

  • Redness
  • Irritation
  • Burning of the skin

How Can a Chemical Burn Happen?

Spillages. A spillage is a common cause of chemical burns, resulting from a variety of reasons. In these cases, it’s common that your employee is deemed responsible due to their responsibility to comply with regulations.

Should an employer fail to comply with regulations, it can be a breach of law and they may be found liable for injuries sustained by employees. Spillages can occur due to:

  • Equipment malfunctioning
  • Mistakes being made or people being careless
  • Natural disasters or weather-related issues

Unsafe Storage. Chemical burns can occur due to unsafe storage. Employers may be held accountable if this happens, however, employees may also be found responsible at some level. A factory accident claim will decide the balance between responsibilities.

Steps should be taken to prevent unsafe storage, such as:

  • Using appropriately sized containers to store chemicals
  • Making sure chemicals are stored in compatible containers
  • Storing chemicals in leak-proof and screw-on capped containers

Other Causes. Faulty products can often also cause chemical burns. The Consumer Protection Act 1987 regulates manufacturers’ duties to keep the population safe from defective products. Other causes of chemical burns can be:

  • Contact with battery acid
  • Bleach causing chemical burns
  • Chlorination products

Making a Factory Accident Compensation Claim

If you believe you’ve suffered from a factory accident due to negligence, you may be owed factory accident compensation. At The Claims Partnership we have a lot of experience with claims deriving from accidents at work.

  • First-degree burns. Only affect the outer layer of the skin, causing pain and redness.
  • Second-degree burns. Affects the outer layer of the skin and the dermis, causing blisters, redness, swelling, and pain.
  • Third-degree burns. Affects two full layers of the skin and can appear brown, black, yellow, or white. It damages nerve endings, which is why they tend to not cause pain.
  • Fourth-degree burns. Deep and severe, can be life-threatening. They destroy all layers of the skin, affecting muscles, tendons, and bones.

If you’ve suffered a chemical burn and wish to make a factory accident claim, make sure to collect all relevant evidence, arrange for medical treatment, and to document any financial losses. You may be able to claim the following:

  • Hospice care
  • General damages
  • Special damages
  • Travel expenses
  • Medical expenses

You can get in touch with our team of Preston solicitors by giving us a call on 01772 562084. We always fight for your best interests to make sure you receive what you’re owed.

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