Contact Dermatitis Claim for Rope Access Worker

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In April 2020, Thompsons Solicitors in Scotland received a union referral to assist a Rope Access Supervisor who had been working for Stork Technical Services.

The employee had developed an industrial disease over the duration of his nine years employment with the maintenance, modification, and asset integrity company and Thompsons was asked to represent him in his claim for industrial disease compensation.

The background

During our client's employment, he was exposed to epoxy-based products, including epoxy paints, which resulted in him developing allergic contact dermatitis; a painful skin condition caused by continued exposure to harmful substances.

The consequences

Uncured epoxy resin, hardener and diluent are strong irritants that cause sensitivity issues in some users. Skin contact with the hardening agent in epoxy paints can cause burns and severe allergic contact dermatitis characterised by a number of symptoms including redness, swelling and itching.

Continued exposure to epoxy paints led our client to develop contact dermatitis. His condition was diagnosed in February 2020 at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

A medical report was obtained which confirmed that our client's development of allergic contact dermatitis was as a result of his work activities. Thompsons also took witness statements from the employee and a number of colleagues to confirm a history of exposure to harmful substances whilst being employed at Stork.

The settlement

Thompsons' industrial disease solicitors raised court proceedings in the All-Scotland Sheriff Personal Injury Court, in April 2021; however, despite the defenders being in receipt of the medical report, no settlement proposal was forthcoming.

Having instructed a liability report which supported our client's claim for negligent exposure to harmful substances, the defender tendered an initial settlement offer of £15,000. This was rejected, but Thompson's negotiated a further settlement amount of £18,500 and our client was pleased to accept this industrial disease compensation sum.

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