Unite member compensated for occupational dermatitis
A machine operator who contracted occupational dermatitis after he was exposed to a chemical solution at work has secured compensation.
Graham Taylor, 62, from Telford, worked at Mahle Filter Systems where he welded components and dipped seals in P80 solution.
His employers failed to provide the member of Unite the Union with the correct gloves to protect his skin from exposure to contaminants in the harmful P80 solution. Instead, Mahle Filter Systems gave Graham light cotton gloves, which became soaked through and his hands remained wet from the solution throughout his working day.
The contact with the contaminant caused dermatitis, a painful and itchy skin disease. The condition meant that for three months Graham had to stop doing many of the activities he enjoyed in his spare time such as swimming and golf, because it caused his dermatitis to flare up.
When he contracted the skin disease Graham got in touch with Unite Legal Services, who with the help of Thompsons Solicitors pursued a claim for compensation on his behalf.
Graham said: “Supplying cotton gloves to protect staff from handling harmful chemicals didn’t do the job, and as a result I contracted a painful skin disease. The chemicals that I worked with badly affected the fingers on my right hand and it was something that unfortunately impacted on both my work and personal life for months.
“Mahle Filter Systems have now changed their procedures so that staff are now adequately protected when dealing with hazardous chemicals.”
Stef Blasczyk, Unite regional officer, said: “Cotton gloves are no adequate form of protection against harmful irritants. Employers who cannot remove a hazard have a responsibility to control it. If they have to expose their staff to harmful materials they must protect them, ignoring known dangers is not an option.
“It is shocking that Graham had to suffer a painful injury, risk assessments, safe systems of work and the provision of appropriate personal protective equipment to avoid such injuries should be a norm."
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