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Eliminate occupational skin disease

03 April 2017

Occupational skin disease is one of the major health issues currently facing a number of different industries; affecting up to 40% of workers.

Occupational skin disease causes a multitude of painful symptoms such as swelling, cracked skin, blisters, flaking or scaling skin and itchy hands, as well as causing small areas of the skin to thicken, eventually forming rough growths which may become cancerous. While not contagious, if left untreated it can also spread to other parts of the body causing further discomfort. 

Arco recommends implementing a three-step skin care programme to help establish cleaning and hygiene best practice: 

• Protect - Apply protection cream prior to each work period or after washing hands; reapply at least every three hours.

• Cleanse: Wash hands regularly to avoid prolonged contact with contaminants and prevent them becoming ingrained in the skin. Ensure any soap is rinsed off and dry hands thoroughly.

• Restore: Apply restore cream after working, either at the end of a shift or prior to a long break ensuring all parts of the hands are covered.

To ensure both employers and employees fully understand what is legally required from them (under the Control of Substance Hazardous to Health Regulations, 2002); Arco has created a package of support material, free of charge and downloadable from www.arco.co.uk/skincare. It includes a guide to combating occupational skin disease, a skin care at work training video, plus separate guides directed at managers and employees.