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Skin disorders: training for managers

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Presentation on theme: "Skin disorders: training for managers"— Presentation transcript:

1 Skin disorders: training for managers

2 Contents What’s the issue? What’s the issue in our organisation? Why should we deal with skin disorders? What are our responsibilities? How can we deal with skin disorders? What next?

3 What is the issue? Skin conditions can affect any part of the body – the hands and forearms are the most common Symptoms can vary from mild and irritating, to severe, chronic and debilitating Skin cancers can be lethal Not all skin conditions are caused by work

4 What is the issue? Approximately 16,000 people who worked in the last 12 months had skin problems they believed to be work-related In 2008, over 2,180 serious cases of occupational skin disease were reported by occupational physicians and dermatologists Source:

5 What is the issue? The HSE defines occupational skin disease as ‘a disease in which workplace exposure to a physical, chemical or biological agent or a mechanical force has been the cause or played a major role in the development of the disease’

6 What is the issue? Routes of skin exposure: immersion splashing contact with contaminated surfaces, tools, clothing the substance landing on the skin Often, liquids are the source of the problem – sometimes solids are involved

7 What is the issue? Typical occupational skin disorders include: contact dermatitis contact urticaria acne and folliculitis pigmentation changes skin cancer

8 What is the issue? Contact dermatitis This is the most common skin disease, accounting for 72% of all skin problems Source:

9 What is the issue? There are two types of contact dermatitis: irritant allergic They have the same appearance but different causes

10 What is the issue? Common causes of contact dermatitis (CD) Irritant CDAllergic CD Water Detergents Solvents Metal working fluids Acids Alkalis Nickel Chromium Latex Rubber Dyes Epoxy resins

11 What is the issue? Skin cancer The second most common skin disease, accounting for 19% of skin problems It can be caused by: –UV light (sunlight or artificial) –ionising radiation –polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons –tar and tar products Source:

12 What is the issue? Other skin problems Contact urticaria Acne and folliculitis Pigmentation changes

13 What is the issue in our organisation? Use the supplementary slide here to insert your own data Estimates of number of people exposed to skin risk factors Number of cases of dermatitis Number of days’ work lost Insert your organisation name or logo here

14 Why should we deal with skin disorders? Legal – our responsibility under health and safety law Moral – our obligation as a good employer Financial – dealing with skin problems reduces sickness absence levels and saves money

15 What are our responsibilities? The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees while at work The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require the employer to assess risks and, where necessary, take action to ensure and safeguard health and safety, including health surveillance, if appropriate

16 What are our responsibilities? The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002 (as amended 2004) require employers to control exposure to hazardous substances to prevent ill health

17 What are our responsibilities? Under COSHH, we must: carry out a risk assessment (Reg 6) control exposure to hazardous substances (Reg 7) have appropriate control measures, and make sure they’re maintained (Regs 8 and 9) provide health surveillance for employees (Reg 11) provide education, instruction and training for employees (Reg 12)

18 What are our responsibilities? Under RIDDOR 1995,* all cases of occupational skin disease that are confirmed by a doctor must be reported to the HSE * Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations

19 How can we deal with skin problems? Check which agents at work can cause skin damage Check there’s no excessive amount of wet work Check suppliers’ labels and literature Check safety data sheets produced by manufacturers

20 How can we deal with skin problems? Consider eliminating the use of a hazardous substance Use ‘safer’ substances Control exposure by using engineering controls, eg automation, enclosure, local exhaust ventilation Consider modifying processes to minimise contact with hands Establish good working practices Provide suitable gloves or protective clothing and/or skin care products (although the use of impervious gloves should be limited)

21 How can we deal with skin problems? Make sure employees work a safe distance from the chemical (or water) Get them to use tools rather than their hands, eg: –a spatula to spread glue –a scoop to transfer powder –tongs to remove objects

22 How can we deal with skin disorders? Pre-employment screening to help identify people predisposed to skin disease Set up a health surveillance system to carry out skin checks Regularly check effectiveness of controls Regularly check that gloves and protective clothing are appropriate, and used and stored properly

23 How can we deal with skin problems? Revise COSHH assessment when new materials are introduced and there’s reason to suspect that they may cause skin problems

24 How can we deal with skin disorders? Provide adequate washing facilities Encourage good personal hygiene Encourage employees to examine their skin regularly for any problems and report them to the person responsible for surveillance Provide them with suitable information, such as the HSE leaflets ‘It’s in your hands’ and ‘Preventing dermatitis at work’ Source:

25 How can we deal with skin problems? Personal protection Gloves Protective creams Emollients (moisturising creams)

26 What next? Generate a plan for our organisation, eg: Identify people at risk – from jobs and tasks Carry out risk assessments and record results Decide what health surveillance is appropriate Provide training Investigate any necessary control measures, gloves and protective clothing, hygiene For more information, see: and

27 IOSH is Europe's leading body for health and safety professionals. We have over 37,000 members worldwide, including more than 13,000 Chartered Safety and Health Practitioners. The Institution was founded in 1945 and is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that sets professional standards, supports and develops members and provides authoritative advice and guidance on health and safety issues. IOSH is formally recognised by the ILO as an international non-governmental organisation. The IOM is a major independent centre of scientific excellence in the fields of occupational and environmental health, hygiene and safety. We were founded as a charity in 1969 by the UK coal industry in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh and became fully independent in 1990. Our mission is to benefit those at work and in the community by providing quality research, consultancy and training in health, hygiene and safety and by maintaining our independent, impartial position as an international centre of excellence.

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