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Preventing Work Related Contact Dermatitis in Catering Workers Local Authorities, HSE and Industry working together.

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Presentation on theme: "Preventing Work Related Contact Dermatitis in Catering Workers Local Authorities, HSE and Industry working together."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preventing Work Related Contact Dermatitis in Catering Workers Local Authorities, HSE and Industry working together

2 Dermatitis in catering Contact dermatitis is one of the main causes of ill health in catering workers The incidence rate for the hotel and catering sector is twice the all industry average Almost all workers engaged in wet work have some degree of dermatitis

3 What is contact dermatitis? A disease involving inflammation of the skin Caused by damage to the skin by substances such as solvents, wet work and cleaners Some substances cause sensitization

4 What is contact dermatitis like? Inflammation of the skin leading to -Redness -Itching -Scaling / flaking -Blistering -Weeping -Cracking -Pain

5 Contact dermatitis Contact dermatitis cannot be passed from one person to another You may not have it now but that does not mean you will never develop it Contact dermatitis can be caused and made worse within the workplace Often starts on the hands and can spread to other parts of the body

6 Types of contact dermatitis Irritant contact dermatitis -Single heavy dose or prolonged exposure Allergic contact dermatitis -Repeated exposure, sensitisation

7 Contact with substances in the workplace Immersion Direct handling Contaminated surfaces Splashing Depositing

8 What causes allergic contact dermatitis? Onions and garlic Flour and dough Fish and shell fish Meat and poultry Herbs, seasoning and spices

9 What causes irritant contact dermatitis? Chemical - Detergents - Solvents Wet work - Pot washing - Wet food preparation

10 What is wet work? Wet work means having your hands frequently in contact with water. As a guide -More than 2 hours contact with water per day -20 or more hand washes per day -Tasks such as daily cleaning of tools and surfaces -Preparing or processing wet food

11 How to prevent contact dermatitis? Avoid contact Protect your skin Check for early signs of dermatitis

12 Avoid skin contact No contact – No dermatitis -Make people aware of dermatitis and its causes -Where possible Use automation (eg. mixing or peeling) Handle food with tools (eg tongs) Buy in ready prepared ingredients -Use a dishwasher -Use tools for cleaning and pot washing

13 Protect the skin Dispose of single use gloves after each use Re-usable gauntlets will be more appropriate for pot washing Use a non latex single use food grade glove for wet food prep Choose the correct size and suitable material for individual and task Know how to put them on and take them off

14 Protect the skin Take regular glove breaks Wash contamination off the skin Wash hands before and after glove use Dry your hands thoroughly with a soft paper towel Use appropriate moisturizing creams before and after work -Hypoallergenic, fragrance and nut oil free -Ensure all parts of the hands are covered

15 Check the skin Check for early signs of dermatitis Who checks -Employee -Responsible person What next -Investigation -Follow up -Reporting -Take action

16 What about food hygiene? Damaged skin can be more difficult to wash and clean properly Dermatitis can become infected with the potential to contaminate food Gloves must be used properly -Dispose of single use gloves after each use -Wash hands before and after wearing gloves -Take regular glove breaks -Guard against bacterial cross contamination of food

17 A cooks tale

18 A cooks tale – the problem 32 year old female cook with 10 years experience Developed rash on hands arms and face Happened on three occasions following cleaning ovens with disposable latex gloves as protection Each attack lasted 2 weeks and required treatment from her GP Referred to skin specialist doctor Patch test showed allergy to a chemical in the oven cleaner

19 A cooks tale – the solution Visit by Workplace Health Connect Adviser Removed from oven cleaning until symptoms subsided Oven cleaner changed for one which did not contain the allergen Nitrile gauntlets introduced for oven cleaning Hand care products supplied Training for cook on performing and recording skin checks and access to medical advice through NHS Plus

20 A cooks tale – the benefits Reduced risk of new cases of dermatitis or worsening of dermatitis in existing sufferers Experienced and trained workers retained in employment Reduced cost in terms of sickness absence and temporary staff cover

21 Where to get more information & help Ask your local Environmental Health Officer Ask your Trade Association or Industry Body -British Hospitality Association -National Association of Care Caterers Health & Safety Executive Infoline

22 Where to get more information & help Advice services for small and medium sized businesses England: Ask an expert scheme, HSE Infoline , Scotland: Healthy Working Lives , Wales: Workboost Wales pilot project , Milton Keynes: Healthy Workplaces MK ,

23 A range of information is also available Catering and hospitality website Skin at work website

24 You can prevent contact dermatitis Remember… Avoid contact Protect skin Check for early signs of dermatitis

25 Preventing Contact Dermatitis a presentation by FSA, Local Authorities, HSE and Industry working together End


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