The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) believes that up to 6% of the population is potentially sensitive to latex. As this is a known risk to those who wear latex gloves at work or are exposed to latex dust, employers have a duty of care to try to protect their staff. Therefore, if you have suffered an allergic reaction to latex at work, you may be eligible to claim compensation for your suffering.
This guide to making a latex allergy compensation claim will look at how much compensation you could be awarded and how to begin a claim.
Our team of advisors can help if you’d like to know your options. They’ll review your claim during a free consultation and explain your next steps. If they believe you have a valid latex allergy claim, you’ll be partnered with a personal injury solicitor from our team. If they agree to represent you, it will be on a No Win No Fee basis. As such, you won’t have to pay legal fees unless you are compensated.
To talk to us right away about your case, you can call us on 0800 6524 881. If you’d like to know more before contacting us, please read on.
Table of contents
- What Is Latex?
- Am I Eligible To Make A Latex Allergy Compensation Claim?
- What Occupations Are Most At Risk Of Latex Allergies?
- What Types Of Negligence Could Lead To Latex Allergic Reactions At Work
- How Much Compensation For A Latex Allergic Reaction Could I Claim?
- What Evidence Will Support A Latex Allergy Compensation Claim?
- Time Limits For Claiming Compensation
- Starting The Latex Allergy Compensation Claims Process
Natural Rubber Latex (NRL) is a milky fluid that comes from the Hevea Brasiliensis tree. It is used during the manufacturing of many types of consumer products. Latex can be dipped, extruded or coated during the manufacturing process.
The symptoms of a latex allergy will differ from person to person. In some cases, they will be very mild and not too disturbing. There are two main types of latex allergies:
- Type 1 latex allergies cause an immediate reaction.
- Type 2 latex allergies are a delayed reaction to latex. Symptoms might not be seen for between 6 and 48 hours after exposure to latex.
The most common symptoms of a latex allergic reaction include:
- Watery or itchy eyes.
- A runny nose.
- Hives – a raised red rash on the skin.
- Wheezing or a cough.
However, in more serious cases, latex allergies can lead to anaphylaxis. This is much more likely for type 1 reactions to latex. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that can be life-threatening as it can make it difficult to breathe.
Our personal injury solicitors could help you to get compensation for an allergic reaction to latex at work if your claim has a fair chance of success. To verify this, they will check whether:
- Your employer breached their duty of care towards your well-being through an act of negligence; and
- You have suffered an allergic reaction to latex as a result.
The duty of care owed by your employer could be established by various laws including the:
- Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH).
- The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Act 1992.
You needn’t be too concerned about which law might be relevant in your case as this will be verified for you before your claim begins. However, you could help by supplying evidence to prove what caused your reaction and how you suffered. We’ll provide more details about this later on.
Many people worry about making personal injury claims against their employer. However, laws are in place to protect you whether you work for a large organisation like the NHS or a family-run cleaning business.
Legally, you cannot be disciplined for making a compensation claim against your employer (so long as it’s truthful). That means you can’t be demoted, denied training opportunities, prevented from applying for promotion, picked on or fired. If any of those things were to happen, you might have grounds to sue for constructive or unfair dismissal.
While many industries use latex products, one of the most common reasons for an allergic reaction to latex at work is latex gloves. That means workers in various roles are potentially at risk of suffering. Some of the most common jobs and industries affected by latex allergies include:
- Health and social care workers.
- Emergency services.
- Lab technicians.
- Rubber industry workers.
- Manufacturing staff.
- Food production staff.
If you’ve been exposed to latex at work and suffered an allergic reaction, please contact us to see if you might be eligible to claim compensation.
So, as shown in an earlier section, you can only sue your employer for an allergic reaction to latex if they were negligent in some way. Some of the forms of negligence that might allow you to claim compensation include:
- Failure of the employer to consider using latex alternatives.
- A lack of proper ventilation in the workplace.
- Failure to check whether employees had a known latex allergy.
- Inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as face masks or safety goggles.
- A lack of safety training at work.
- Not allowing staff to have regular rest breaks away.
- Inadequate washing facilities (clean running water and soap for example).
If you believe your employer has caused you to suffer an allergic reaction to latex and would like to see if you could be compensated, please get in touch.
If you make a personal injury claim for a latex allergic reaction, you must justify every penny that you request. If your claim is settled in your favour, the compensation payment could cover:
- The physical suffering caused by the latex allergic reaction.
- Any mental harm caused by the incident (distress, fear for life, anxiety etc).
- Medical expenses and treatment costs.
- Loss of earnings.
- Any loss of enjoyment of your normal activities.
- The cost of a carer.
- Travel expenses.
- Future earnings reductions (where your long-term ability to work is reduced).
- Mobility aids or home adaptations if you’re left disabled as a result of the allergic reaction.
If your latex allergy claim is accepted by one of our solicitors, they’ll try to ensure you’re fully compensated by learning exactly how you’ve suffered before filing your claim.
The solicitors and insurers that deal with latex allergy compensation claims are not medically trained. Therefore, the personal injury claims process requires claimants may have to undergo an independent medical assessment. This is usually a local appointment where a medical specialist will simply review your medical records, examine you and ask questions about the impact of your latex allergic reaction.
Their report will be used by your solicitor to work out how much compensation you might be eligible to claim.
To establish the cause of your latex allergic reaction, how you suffered and who was to blame, it’s a good idea to collect as much evidence as possible. This could include:
- Accident report forms. This can be obtained from your employer and will provide proof of the date and time that the allergic reaction to latex occurred.
- Medical records. To prove that you did in fact suffer an allergic reaction to latex, you can request copies of your medical records from your GP or the hospital that treated you.
- Witness details. It’s a good idea to provide your solicitor with details of anybody who can vouch for your version of events. If needed, your solicitor will contact them for a witness statement.
- Photographs. Taking pictures of any visible symptoms caused by latex exposure can help to clarify how you’ve suffered.
- CCTV footage. For serious allergic reactions, it can be a good idea to request any relevant footage from your employer’s security cameras if they have them.
If you have any evidence already, please let us know when you call. As part of your free consultation, we’ll review your evidence and let you know if you have the grounds to start a claim.
It is important to point out that personal injury claims can be rejected if they are made outside of the 3-year limitation period. Usually, for latex allergy compensation claims, this will start from:
- The date that you had an allergic reaction to latex; or
- The date your GP linked a latex allergy to your employment.
Rather than waiting to claim, we suggest the process will be easier the sooner you begin. By starting early, your solicitor will have plenty of time to secure evidence and book a medical assessment.
We are ready to help if you’ve decided to seek damages following an allergic reaction to latex. By calling 0800 6524 881, you’ll receive free legal advice about your claim and your next steps.
If your claim is strong enough and accepted by one of our solicitors, you won’t need to pay any legal fees unless the claim is successful. Their No Win No Fee service should make the claims process a lot less stressful.
If you’d like to know anything else about the process of making a latex allergy compensation claim, please use our live chat service to contact us.