Skin diseases which have developed as a result of work are actually quite common. When a worker contracts a skin disease it can be costly. In extreme cases, a skin disease could finish a career. Even mild conditions can result in time off work, and income lost.
Skin problems contracted at work can be costly for employers too. A workforce which is depleted due to sickness absence will impact on production. Even more dramatically, a negligent employer who’s workforce become ill could face prosecution, fines or even be forced to stop trading.
What are work related skin conditions?
Exposure to chemicals and other substances, wet, or even dry, conditions and failure to protect from sunlight are the major contributors to skin conditions developing at work.
Dermatitis (or Eczema) is by far the most common skin disease which develops from working conditions. Dermatitis can be irritating in mild cases. In extreme cases, the skin can become blistered, swollen and very sore.
Urticaria is another condition of the skin caused by exposure to irritants. If any of your workforce are allergic to latex, then even protective gloves could cause this condition. Urticaria shows its symptoms much more quickly than dermatitis and often clears up just as fast. It can be caused by extremes of temperature and even some foods if a worker is continuously exposed to them.
Skin Cancer is best known for being caused by overexposure to the power of the sun. Other sources of ultraviolet light are also a risk. Some chemicals, unrefined oils and exposure to radiation, such as x-rays, are potential causes too.
Some key actions an employer can take to protect workers.
- Keep the workplace clean
- Store all chemicals securely and according to guidelines
- Have safety wash stations
- Provide clean, dedicated hand washing facilities
- Provide lotions and barrier creams
- Train and inform all staff about the risks
- Provide all of the correct PPE
It would be unrealistic in many industries to completely eliminate contact with potential harmful substances. For this reason, the protective clothing and equipment provided is essential for protecting the workforce.
Selecting PPE to protect against skin conditions.
Whenever a worker is potentially going to come into contact with, or be exposed to harmful substances or environments, they must be provided with the correct PPE.
PPE selection is not always simple. The government publishes guidelines, for example, about how to select protective gloves. We’re always happy to discuss your needs here at Essential Safety Wear. A quick call to us on 01462 675200 and you can confirm which PPE are right for your workforce.
We offer a full range of protection, including:
- Respiratory and protective masks
- A full range of safety gloves
- Face shields and goggles
- Protective thermal clothing
- Flame retardant clothing
- Safety footwear
In fact, whatever your PPE requirements, here at Essential Safety Wear we have the clothing and equipment to keep you covered and safe.
Get in touch now to discuss how we can protect your workforce from skin conditions.