Besides the skin problems sometimes experienced by hairdressing customers, those who work in the hair and beauty industry are at risk of sustaining workplace injuries themselves. There have been numerous cases of hairdressers making compensation claims for dermatitis, a dry, itchy, irritating skin condition to the hands which can be caused by exposure to irritants used in shampoos and colours.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, up to 70% of hairdressers suffer from skin damage. This is higher than the rates of dermatitis found in dirty industry such as the metal trade, printers and vehicle body repairers. There are two types of contact dermatitis – irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis.
Irritant contact dermatitis can flare up after a few contacts with strong chemicals such as bleach. More commonly it develops gradually through frequent wet working or working with milder chemicals such as shampoo.
Allergic contact dermatitis can develop quickly after only a few contacts with substances such as shampoos or colours. Sometimes it can take months or even years for the allergy to develop. Once you are allergic, you are allergic for good and this could well affect all aspects of your life. Where using substances that cause dermatitis is unavoidable, it is the responsibility of salon owners to provide their staff with protective gloves. If not, employees are at risk of injury and the employer can face a compensation claim against them.
If you think you have suffered any type of accident or trauma from hairdressing, click on the claim form or phone us free on 0844 586 5704.