Fife man suffers chemical burns after given the wrong boots

Man looking pensive

Mr Aitken, a 43-year-old man from Fife, suffered chemical burns at work when he was handling corrosive chemicals.  He was a chemical HGV lorry driver and this involved transporting large quantities of chemicals.

It was a new job and he was provided with brief training and told that he would be given adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to allow him to safely carry out his work.

On the day of his accident, he was wearing wellington boots provided by his employer. However, as Mr Aitken began connecting a pipe to move caustic soda from his HGV, a large quantity of it began leaking onto his boots. He managed to stop it as quickly as possible but it was too late. He suffered chemical burns to his right foot.

As far as he was aware, his employer had provided him with the correct PPE to carry out his job. However, it emerged later that his employer had negligently issued him with standard wellington boots and not chemical resistant boots as they should have done.

As a result of his employers negligence, Mr Aitken had to seek immediate medical attention and still suffers from pain and discomfort in his foot.  He has also been left with permanent scarring.

“It was very painful and upsetting what happened. I was in my first year in the chemical industry and I was really excited about progressing within the trade but after everything that happened, I’ve moved out that industry entirely.

“It has opened up my eyes about the dangers and what could happen. I’m angry that they allowed me to carry out a life threatening job without the right equipment and training and that they still didn’t seem to learn from the accident.”

Mr Aitken decided to contact Digby Brown to see if he had a case for personal injury against his employer.

“I wanted my employer to recognise they were at fault for my accident, take responsibility and learn from what happened to make sure it never happened to anyone else.”

Solicitor Fiona Bisset, who specialises in personal injury in our Kirkcaldy office, carried out investigations into the circumstances of accident. She found that the Health and Safety Executive had identified significant violations of health and safety law.

Our team had to prove that Mr Aitken’s employer had been at fault for his accident. Under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, the employer ought to have ensured that his exposure to hazardous substances was prevented or adequately controlled. They failed to do so.  The employer also failed to provide suitable PPE under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992.

Our Kirkcaldy solicitors were able to persuade the employer’s insurers to admit liability for the accident and subsequent injuries.

They also arranged for Mr Aitken to be examined by a specialist medical expert to find out if any treatment would be beneficial for his recovery. The costs of this was included in his claim and in the end, the case settled for £9,000.

“My life has changed completely because of the accident. It has affected the way I think about things and how I view employers now. I still think about it every day, but I’ve had to put it behind me so I can move forward.

“Digby Brown did a fantastic job and did everything they could for me. They were very friendly and answered any questions I had and they knew exactly how to deal with things as they came up. It was clear they knew what they were doing.”

Compensation doesn’t allow us to turn back time and stop an accident but it can go some way to put right what happened and hold an employer to account

What our clients say about us

We put our clients at the centre of everything we do and are committed to providing the very best service. The hundreds of five star reviews we have received on Trustpilot is a reflection of this approach.

Rated Excellent
based on 1,760 reviews
  • Rated Excellent
    based on 1,760 reviews
  • 5 stars
    Required assistance with redundancy during Covid-1...
    750 Turbo -
  • 5 stars
    David Henderson at Digby Brown was excellent from ...
    JR -
  • 5 stars
    Recently I was looking for a Solicitor to deal wit...
    Leslie Forbes -
  • 5 stars
    After a nasty accident at work involving a manhole...
    davidmcvie -
  • 5 stars
    Lynne and Neil where dealing with my case in they ...
    david exley -
  • 5 stars
    Thank you Craig. He dealt with my case in a consci...
    Kath -
  • 5 stars
    THANK YOU IZABELO After a bicycle accident my law...
    hanna d -
  • 5 stars
    I had the delight of having Simon D as the solicit...
    Jodie -
  • 5 stars
    Sam B has been outstanding. His advice and patien...
    Gerry K -
  • 5 stars
    I can't thank Digby Brown enough, my daughter expe...
    Leigh A.C McFarlane -
  • 5 stars
    Sam B has been amazing throughout my whole claim, ...
    Joanne McMurdo -
  • 5 stars
    My friends recommended them and I can only recomme...
    Robert Adam -
Woman getting legal advice from solicitor

Thinking of making a claim?

Digby Brown's highly trained and experienced team will give you all the support you need.

Piggby bank with money going into it

How your case is funded

Don't be worried about the cost of legal advice. We will fully explain how your claim will be funded.

Hands in the air to ask a questions

Frequently asked questions

Digby Brown are here to help. Here are some answers to some of your frequently asked questions.


0333 200 5926

Monday to Friday: 8am - 7pm 

(Please note, local rate, even from mobile)

Email enquiry form

Complete our enquiry form and we will strive to reply within 24 hours

Follow us