Hairdressers are susceptible to a common work-related health problem known as occupational contact dermatitis, which involves inflammation of the skin because of exposure to harsh chemicals or other irritants. It is often ranked as the most common work-related health issue, and hairdressers are particularly vulnerable to it because of substances they use every day, such as hair coloring, bleach, and permanent solutions.
However, a study conducted by researchers at Monash University and the Skin and Cancer Foundation has found that hairdressers are reluctant to pursue workers’ compensation benefits for this condition.
The study, funded by the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research, analyzed 17 years worth of data in Australia. The study found that from 1993 to 1999, there were 157 cases of diagnosed occupational contact dermatitis, but only 46 workers’ compensation claims for this health condition.
One of the study authors said that there are likely to be more cases of undiagnosed occupational contact dermatitis among hairdressers since few are referred to or attend a consultation with a dermatologist. Therefore, there is likely to be a much bigger discrepancy between cases and workers’ compensation claims.
The study also looked at cases in the United Kingdom and Denmark and found a similar discrepancy.
Researchers suggested that the lower number of workers’ compensation claims for this group may be attributed to a higher number of workers being self-employed or to workers fearing the loss of job, particularly apprentices and part-time workers.
North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Though the study did not look at data from the United States, occupational contact dermatitis is a leading work-related health problem, and workers throughout the country are susceptible to it. If you suffer from occupational contact dermatitis or another health condition you believe was caused by work-related activities, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.