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We can help you with a chemical injury claim

Working with chemicals can be dangerous, but thankfully good safety practices usually keep us safe from harm. When safety standards aren't maintained as they should be however, accidents can happen. The results can be serious, with the effects of chemical burns or inhalation potentially very traumatic.

If you have been affected by a chemical injury, we are here to help. With our extensive experience of chemical injury claims, we can help you get compensation to help you recover and get back to normal.

To find out whether you could make a chemical injury claim, or to get confidential, obligation-free advice, please get in touch with our legally trained advisors on , or fill in our call back form and we'll call you.

What is a chemical injury?

A chemical injury is usually caused when an irritant comes into contact with the skin or the eyes. This can cause chemical burns, conditions such as dermatitis, or eye injuries with long term effects such as partial or complete loss of sight.

If chemicals are swallowed, then this can cause internal injuries with serious or potentially fatal consequences.

Chemical injuries are not always obvious, and sometimes it may be a while before you see any symptoms. This means that your treatment may be delayed, which can make the effects more severe and can cause a longer recovery time.

The severity of a chemical injury can vary from person to person, as people react in different ways to chemicals.

If you've been injured due to someone else's negligence, then you could claim compensation to cover the impact your injury has had on your life and your family. Call us for free today on  or fill in our secure online form and we'll call you back. We're here to help, answering any questions and offering free, independent and impartial advice.

What substances can cause a chemical burn?

The range of substances that can cause a minor chemical burn in particular is very wide. Factories and chemical plants aren't the only places where you could be at risk. Hairdressers, cleaners, agricultural workers, painters, car mechanics and millions of other workers are at risk of chemical injuries in the workplace.

The types of substance that can cause a minor chemical burn or something more serious include acid, alkaline and caustic chemicals. Here are some of the chemical compounds that can be harmful, and examples of where you might find them:

Ammonia. Mostly used in fertiliser production, where it's capable of causing severe burns. Also found in cleaners and detergents, often in a diluted form. Concentrated ammonia products include some industrial cleaners. 

Sulphuric acid. Cleaning fluids, car battery fluid and water treatment products. Also used in fertiliser manufacturing processes.  

Hydrofluoric acid. Cleaning products, herbicides, pesticides, refrigerants and rust removers.

Hydrochloric acid. Cleaners, dye manufacturing, metal refining, pharmaceuticals and water treatment. 

Phosphoric acid. Common in detergents, disinfectants and rustproofing products, and used in the sugar and textile industries.

Sodium hydroxide. A corrosive product widely used in manufacturing processes and to make common products such as drain cleaners and oven cleaners. 

A minor chemical burn can be caused by exposure to products that we wouldn't normally think of as chemicals. Examples include cleaners, paint, adhesives, fillers, beauty treatment products and so on. In such cases, chemical burn at work compensation could play a part in your recovery.

A chemical burn is a common type of chemical injury. Sometimes the burn is sudden and severe. But what may initially seem like a minor  chemical burn often looks and feels worse after a while. 

In other cases, you might only see the symptoms of a burn after exposure to a chemical over time. Repeated exposure to a small amount of a substance can be just as bad as a one-off accident.

Chemical burns can range from something very minor to a very serious problem, with symptoms including the following:

  • Dermatitis
  • Severely sore, red, cracked or blistered skin 
  • Black, dead skin
  • A less serious rash or irritation
  • Pain or numbness in the affected area

Chemical injuries also often involve eye injuries. The College of Optometrists reports that an estimated 10% of eye trauma treatment in UK emergency departments is due to chemical injuries

It can unfortunately be easy to cause splashes when opening containers, pouring liquid and so on. We naturally look carefully at what we are doing, which can mean our eyes are at risk of being splashed. The result can be pain, blurred vision and even partial or complete loss of sight.

If something went wrong at work due to someone's negligence and you suffered a chemical burn as a result, please get in touch on or request a call back so we can assess whether you might be able to make a compensation claim. We'll take all relevant factors into account when advising you of how much compensation for chemical burns you can claim.

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The NHS say that a minor chemical burn ‘affecting the outer layer of skin and some of the underlying layer of tissue will normally heal with good ongoing burn care'. 

Despite being classed as superficial, according to Oxford University Hospitals a minor chemical burn may require visits to your GP surgery to have dressings changed, perhaps as frequently as every two days. 

Having to wear a dressing and keep it clean and dry can make it impossible for someone to go to work. Just as importantly, you should avoid knocking the affected area. You may even be told to keep an arm or leg raised to reduce swelling.

For all these reasons, staying off work for a few days or longer after a minor chemical burn may be necessary for workers in some jobs. If that means you lose out financially, a claim for chemical burn at work compensation could mean you aren't left out of pocket. 

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What are the causes and symptoms of a chemical inhalation injury?

Chemical injuries don't always involve direct contact with the skin. For example, a chemical inhalation injury is also a frequent result of working with all kinds of substances. 

Unfortunately, some employers fail to provide their staff with adequate training in how to avoid chemical inhalation injuries, or suitable masks or other RPE (respiratory protective equipment). Also, you may be exposed to substances outside of work because someone has not taken the proper care in controlling their usage.

Symptoms of a chemical inhalation injury include dizziness, nausea, a high temperature, shortness of breath, a sore throat, coughing, confusion and a headache. These often clear up fast but can persist if the inhalation was considerable or happens over time.

A serious chemical inhalation injury can be long-term in nature. It can for example take a long time for a person to develop lung disease after exposure to whatever caused it. 

The Health and Safety Executive estimates that 12,000 lung disease deaths each year are linked to ‘past exposure at work'. Many more people will experience a medical condition or symptoms but will not die from their exposure. 

If you are one of the thousands of people who have experienced a chemical inhalation injury, please call us free on . A member of our legally trained team will listen to what you've been through and let you know whether you could make a compensation claim.

If you are one of the thousands of people who have experienced a chemical inhalation injury, please call us free on or request a call back. A member of our legally trained team will listen to what you've been through and let you know whether you could make a compensation claim.

Did you know?

HSE figures reported by safety experts Chemical Watch show that of the new cases of occupational asthma seen by UK chest physicians each year, 7% resulted from exposure to cleaning products and 11% from isocyanates (often used in paints, varnishes and other coatings).

What is classified as chemical poisoning?

Swallowing chemicals is another potential risk. This can cause internal injuries with serious or potentially fatal consequences. Symptoms in addition to pain can include difficulty breathing, and even a seizure or heart attack in the most severe cases.

Chemical poisoning doesn't just apply to swallowing a chemical. It's a broad term that can also include claiming for the effects of vapours, dust and fumes from hazardous substances, including gases. Claiming chemical poisoning compensation can also potentially include exposure to asbestos and making an asbestos compensation claim

Why make a chemical injury claim?

A chemical burn or other injury can be extremely painful, as we know from helping people who have experienced one. It can sometimes have life-changing consequences such as disability or disfigurement. And even if your chemical injury isn't that serious, it could stop you from enjoying your normal everyday life.

Making a claim for chemical injury compensation, or an inhalation or chemical poisoning claim, is a way to make things right. Compensation for what happened could cover the costs of your injury. This might include any time off work. It can also help cover other costs that your injury may have caused you, including prescriptions and other treatment.

If you think you have a chemical injury please seek medical advice or attention as soon as possible. Symptoms can worsen very quickly, so getting help now could reduce your pain and minimise the risk of longer-term problems.

Can I claim for chemical injury compensation?

There's every chance that you can claim compensation if exposure to a harmful substance has caused you an injury. The injury will also need to have been wholly or partially someone else's fault. As an example, you might feel that your own mistake caused a chemical spill that hurt you, but you could still claim if your employer didn't provide the right safety equipment. 

You may be trying to decide whether your injury justifies making a claim - and that's where we can help. A quick call to our friendly, legally trained advisors on or request a call back willbring you more information and help clarify whether you can claim.

We'll listen to what happened and ask a few questions about your injury. We can then let you know if you may be eligible to make a claim. If you want to go ahead, we'll put you in contact with one of our expert solicitors.

And remember - your call is free and confidential, with no obligation to make a claim. You're in control of every decision, each step of the way.


The physical aspects of a chemical burn are usually visible. The emotional trauma associated with the injury can be less obvious - but might be just as serious. 


In a case of chemical burn or other injury, we'll take any psychological distress you've experienced into account when putting together a claim. This is one of the ways we work to get you a fair outcome. 

Ethan Cook

Paralegal, National Accident Law

Did your chemical injury happen at work?

If your chemical injury happened at work, it's not unusual. The reason that chemical injury claims are so often work-related is explained in an article by webmd.com

“Although injuries do happen at home, the risk of sustaining a chemical burn is much greater in the workplace, especially in businesses and manufacturing plants that use large quantities of chemicals.”

Another factor is that many of the chemicals widely used in industrial environments are more likely to have harmful side effects than those used in the home. It all adds up to the workplace being the place where you are most likely to have a chemical injury. 

Injuries at work are of course more likely if companies don't follow the correct safety regulations. Your employer has a duty of care to keep you safe from dangerous substances while you're at work. If they've failed to follow safety regulations, they've put you at risk and you have every right to make a claim.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) provide guidance to employers on managing all types of dangerous substances in the workplace. Companies should follow the COSHH regulations to minimise their employees' risk from the causes of chemical accidents.

The regulations include the following requirements for employers:

  • Carrying out risk assessments. Employers should not only complete risk assessments, but should also put in place measures to minimise the risk of accidents and injury.
  • Providing staff training. All too often, workers handle chemicals before having the chance to attend adequate training.
  • Providing PPE to protect against injuries. PPE (personal protective equipment) should be in good condition and suitable for the chemicals. This includes gloves, gauntlets, aprons, goggles and RPE (respiratory protective equipment).
  • Safely storing chemicals, including during transportation. Spilling badly stored substances is one cause of chemical accidents in the workplace.
  • Regular cleaning. Regular cleaning may be necessary to minimise the risk of employees touching split chemicals.

When your employer gives you potentially harmful products to use, they must have clear labels. These should include instructions and relevant warning symbols, such as the international hazard pictograms. You should also have easy access to a material safety data sheet (MSDS) for any hazardous product you use.

Do you believe that your employer has failed to uphold their duty of care? And that as a result you have experienced chemical inhalation, poisoning or a chemical burn at work? Compensation may help to put things right, so why not find out whether you are eligible to claim? Get in touch with our friendly team on or request a call back to find out if you have a claim today.

Frequently asked questions...

Yes you can - all the solicitors we work with, including our own legal firm National Accident Law - are able to handle injury compensation claims under no win no fee terms. This means that if your claim fails, you pay nothing and ensures that making a claim is risk-free.

Proving a personal injury claim is all about establishing fault across four main factors.

Duty: Did the other side owe you (the claimant) a legal duty of care in the circumstances? 

Example: A council is duty bound to keep public pavements, kerbs and roads in safe order. 

Breach: Did the other side commit a breach of that duty by acting (or not acting) in a particular way? 

Example: The council failed to maintain or repair the pavement where you tripped and fell. 

Causation: Did the other side’s actions (or lack of them) cause your personal injury?

Example: The staircase was defective, so you could not have reasonably predicted that walking down it would cause an injury. 

Lastly, there’s: 

Damages: Were you demonstrably injured by the other side’s actions or inactions?

Example: The court (or through the settlement negotiation with the other side’s insurers) is able to compensate you because you broke your leg in the fall.

It’s simple. Employer’s liability insurance covers the damages in a successful work injury compensation claim. 

This means the solicitor negotiates on your behalf with the employer’s insurance company, not personally with the employer. Be wary about accepting an early offer from the other side’s insurance company. 

Early offers are usually lower than what the claim might be worth so make sure you take good advice. 

Come and talk to us first.

You may worry about claiming for chemical burn at work compensation or another chemical-related work accident because you think your employer will treat you differently. It's against the law for your employer to do that, dismissing you would be unfair dismissal and you would be able to take legal action.

You may also be worried that making a claim will leave your employer with financial difficulties. Every employer must take out employer's liability insurance, which would cover the cost of any compensation.

Importantly, making a work accident claim can often highlight the causes of chemical accidents and general safety issues in the workplace. Speaking up about your injury could help to protect your colleagues from getting injured in the future.

How much compensation could I receive?

Chemical injuries vary greatly in severity, so the compensation levels for chemical injury claims vary just as much. How much compensation you get will depend on things like the severity of the injury, how long you feel the effects for, and the extent of someone else's negligence. 

Letting a solicitor investigate what has happened is the best way to find out what chemical injury claims may be worth. We can start that for you by connecting you with a solicitor with the right experience and specialism for your claim.

If your claim goes through, you could receive compensation in one or both of these categories:

  • General damages cover pain, suffering and ‘loss of amenity', which means the everyday things you can't do because of your injury.   
  • Special damages are the financial losses you experience as a direct result of your injury. These might include loss of earnings, changes to your ability to work, and treatment and prescription costs. 

Until your solicitor has started negotiating on your behalf, they won't be able to give you an exact figure of the chemical injury compensation you could be entitled to. With years_since years' of experience, our chemical injury compensation calculator can give you an estimate of the amount you could receive.

To start a chemical injury claim you can get in touch with us for free on . Or if you'd prefer us to call you back, you can fill in our simple online form. We'll get back to you, usually within about 30 minutes during our normal opening hours.

One of our legally trained advisors will take your call. All our advisors go through an intensive training process and will be able to let you know whether they think you have a claim.

During the call, we'll ask you some questions about your accident and injury. We realise that you may feel nervous or uncomfortable speaking about your experience, but we'll put you at ease. Our main aim is to help you and provide you with free, confidential advice.

We'll never ask any questions which aren't necessary for finding out whether you have a claim. We'll never push you into answering if you're unsure or uncomfortable talking about it.

You've been through enough, which is why we aim to make the claims process as simple and stress free as possible. If we think you have a claim and you give us your permission to continue, we'll select a specialist solicitor to suit your case and put you in touch with them, usually on the same call.

How do I pay for my chemical injury claim?

You do this with a no win no fee arrangement, also known as a conditional fee agreement. It's the contract between you and your no win no fee personal injury lawyer. 

There are no upfront costs or hidden charges but if you win the claim, you'll be asked to pay any costs and expenses, not paid for by the other side, out of your compensation. This is likely to happen in most cases, as the other side is only required to make a contribution to your legal fees.

These costs will only be deducted when your compensation is paid, and may include: 

  • A ‘success fee' which compensates the solicitor for the risk they take, as if your claim is unsuccessful they won't be paid at all.
  • Any other legal costs or expenses not recovered from the other side, such as the costs of any legal expense insurance.

Unlike many solicitors we provide you with complete certainty and protection on legal costs. We guarantee that any deduction made from the compensation is capped at a level agreed by you, so whatever happens with your claim, there are no nasty surprises.

You can feel confident that your solicitor will agree how much you will pay which will only ever be deducted and taken from your compensation amount should you win your case.

Your solicitor will discuss this with you at the start, so you'll know what to expect when your claim settles. If you don't win your no win no fee claim, you pay nothing to anyone. It's as simple as that.

What are the time limits for making chemical injury compensation claims?

To qualify for making a no win no fee chemical injury compensation claim, you must have suffered the effects of the injury within the last three years. The injury must also have been all or partially the fault of somebody else.

  • If you were 18 or over when the injury occurred, you have three years to make a claim from the injury or when the symptoms became apparent. 
  • If you were under 18 at the time and no claim was made, you have three years from your 18th until your 21st birthday to claim.

There are exceptions to the three-year limitation, for instance if the victim experienced such severe effects of the injury that they can't make the claim themselves. This also applies if they lack the psychological capability to do so, either as a result of the chemical injury or a pre-existing disability.

If you've got any questions about making a no win no fee chemical injury compensation claim, contact us for free and impartial advice on . We'll listen to what you've been through and let you know if we think you could make a no win no fee claim

Alternatively, try our eligibility verifier which asks some simple questions about what happened and will let you know whether we think you may have grounds to make a chemical injury compensation claim.

Why choose National Accident Helpline?

Trusted, confidential and compassionate support.
We've handled over 250,000 workplace claims.
UK-wide network of specialist workplace injury solicitors.
years_since years of experience handling work accident claims.

Is National Accident Helpline a claims management company?

No, we aren't. National Accident Helpline is an independent personal injury advice brand owned by legal practice National Accident Law. We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the independent professional ethics and standards regulator that licences all solicitors across England and Wales. Our SRA registration number is 655606.

Claims management companies are overseen by a different regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). CMCs do not have their own law practices. 

We advise on personal injury claims as part of National Accident Law. We also work with a national network of specialist law firms who we choose carefully and check closely to make sure you receive an outstanding customer experience.