Would I be eligible for worker’s compensation if the sanitizer I use at work has severely injured my hands after a prolonged period of time?

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Would I be eligible for worker’s compensation if the sanitizer I use at work has severely injured my hands after a prolonged period of time?

I have worked at this employers for 2 years. After the first 6months I noticed my hands were getting extremely dry and itchy. Eventually my skin started cracking and bleeding and I would experience severe pain after washing dishes, especially after putting my hands in the sanitizer or wiping off the espresso machine steaming wand (required action after completion of every hot beverage) with the sanitizer. I went to the doctor and got diagnosed with eczema and received steroid hand cream, which helped at first. He told me to wear gloves. Eventually after prolonged use of the sanitizer, even gloves don’t help.

Asked on February 11, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is possible that you would be eligible for worker's compensation, if the use of the sanitizer was required by your job and/or if the expresso machine and its steam contributed to the problem, since in those cases, you suffered your injury at work, from work. You should consider submitting a claim.

You also could possibly have a product liability claim against the sanitizer manufacturer, if you were following all instructions and using it properly but it still  caused your eczema. If you think this was the case, you may wish to discuss the matter in detail with an attorney.


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