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Culinary workers risk contact dermatitis

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2023 | Firm News |

Working with foods and liquids in any capacity almost guarantees the possibility of injury, whether from cuts, burns or slips and falls. Yet, there is another, less obvious occupational injury that can sneak up when you. If you experience redness, itching, and blisters on your hands, you may be dealing with contact dermatitis.

What is contact dermatitis?

Dermatitis is an itchy skin condition that can result from allergies or direct skin contact with irritants. Working in kitchens can expose visible parts of your skin, such as your hands, arms and face, to substances that might trigger contact dermatitis.

The unfortunate reality is that there is an abundance of irritants lurking in kitchens. Things like water, cleaning supplies and even food ingredients such as onions, garlic, citrus fruits and spices might cause a reaction.

How contact dermatitis can affect your job

Contact dermatitis is not infectious, but it may lead to dry and flaky skin, itching, blisters and swelling. Until it wears off, your day-to-day duties, such as food preparation, washing dishes or cleaning your workstation, can become uncomfortable and painful.

Continued exposure to irritants could worsen your condition. Since contact dermatitis can last for two to four weeks, informing your employer and discussing accommodations may help prevent your symptoms from developing further.

While using an anti-itch cream or wearing gloves could help, these solutions may not be practical when your job requires you to be precise with your hands. You may also need to see a doctor for effective remedies and to determine the root cause. Their assessment can also play an important role when seeking compensation.

Does workers’ compensation cover contact dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is a common workplace injury. At first, it might seem like a minor annoyance, but it can quickly escalate and interfere with your job.

Generally, workers’ compensation covers health issues and injuries resulting from employment. This benefit can help pay for medical bills and compensate for lost wages. However, the workers’ comp system can be challenging. Even strong evidence is not a guarantee that you will recover compensation.

Working in kitchens presents unique hazards. Many of these risks are almost inevitable unless you switch careers. When a job starts to take a toll on your health, it is crucial not to ignore your symptoms. Acquiring legal guidance can be beneficial when filing a workers’ compensation claim.