Pay Attention and Stop Dermatitis, HSE Advises

The latest in a nationwide series of seminars sponsored by Ansell, Arco, Deb, Globus, Marigold Industrial, Polyco Super Glove, and Stoko Skincare helped British employers learn how to prevent occupational dermatitis yesterday. Guest speakers included HSE Principal Inspectors Bob Rajan and Diane Llewellyn, Health and Safety Laboratory Scientists Penny Simpson and John Saunders, plus John Evans and Mike Nixon of Merseyside and Manchester Occupational Health and Safety Groups, respectively.

The "Rash Decisions Affect Your Business" seminar advised employers to take a sensible approach and to improve their management of wet work and skin exposure to chemicals. Representatives from a construction contractor, the Manchester United Football Club, Solvay Chemicals, South Ribble College, and two universities attended, the Health and Safety Executive said.

"There are serious consequences for all from failing to control work-related dermatitis, including sickness, absence, and loss of productivity from employees, and the possibility of enforcement or court action for their employer, along with the associated adverse publicity plus the use of valuable NHS resources," Rajan said. "Work-related dermatitis can have chemical, biological, physical, and mechanical causes and also result from work that involves having hands wet for long periods. Chemical causes include paints, solvents, dusts, hair shampoos, and cleaning chemicals; biological ones can be plants, flowers, bacteria, and fungus; while physical causes can be through vibration, radiation, and extremes of temperature and humidity. Mechanical causes include abrasion."

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