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#1 Posted : 21 July 2000 16:04:00(UTC)
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Posted By Diane Warne
I seem to remember reading that an NHS Trust had been successfully sued by an employee who became allergic to latex gloves. If this is right, could someone point me to where it was reported? - thanks
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#2 Posted : 26 July 2000 17:22:00(UTC)
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Posted By John Webster
From website

http://www.leighday.co.uk/current.html

M -v- an NHS Healthcare Trust

M worked for an NHS Healthcare Trust ("the Trust") from training in January 1990 and after qualification, working latterly as a Registered General Nurse in community healthcare. She was provided with powdered latex gloves throughout for use in all sterile nursing procedures.
In 1995, M developed dermatitis. This was diagnosed in January 1997 as a workplace induced allergic sensitisation to the chemicals present in the latex gloves (known as a type IV allergic reaction). Mistaking this for the more serious allergy to latex protein (which produces type I allergic reactions and is potentially fatal), the Trust dismissed M on grounds of permanent ill health in December 1997.

Medical experts agreed that M's dermatitis was caused by workplace exposure and also agreed that all the Trust needed to do was provide M with latex-free gloves. However, as a result of the ill-health dismissal and her development of an allergy to latex gloves, no other Health Trust would employ M as a clinical nurse.

The Trust admitted breaches of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations, and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, in that they failed to monitor the levels of allergens in the workplace or assess the suitability of the (powdered) gloves provided. The Trust also expressly admitted breach of duty in failure to warn M about the risks of latex gloves (enabling her to take her own precautions), in failing to provide her with sterile non-latex gloves and in failing to manage her symptoms once diagnosed.

The claim was settled with considerable compensation. As part of the settlement agreement, M is to be re-employed as a Registered General Nurse on the wards (to be selected by M from vacancies available in the 28 days following settlement). Further, M is to be transferred to any community nursing post that arises within the next 18 months.

Hope this helps
John
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#3 Posted : 27 July 2000 09:03:00(UTC)
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Posted By Diane Warne
Thanks John, this is just what I was looking for! - Diane
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