Skin checks

When employees are exposed to hazardous substances employers need to ensure that, where appropriate, employees are under health surveillance.

Why should skin checks be carried out? Regular checks identify early stages of dermatitis; earlier health risk recognized the better. Check correct PPE in place.

Hazardous substances

  • Substances/products used directly in work activities, e.g. adhesives, paints, cleaning products
  • Substances generated during work activities e.g. rosin fumes, metal fumes, wood dust
  • Naturally occurring substances e.g. grain dust, flour
  • Biological agents e.g. bacteria

Exposure

  • Immersion – the skin being submerged into a liquid/powder
  • Splash – decanting of liquid/powder
  • Deposition – from droplets dust fumes or aerosols
  • Contact with contaminated surfaces

What health problems can occur through skin contact?

Burns – severe skin damage can follow being skin contact with corrosive substances e.g. wet cement, strong acids and alkalis

Irritant Contact Dermatitis (ICD) – Is a skin reaction leading to inflammation at the site of contact? Dry, red, itchy skin is the first sign followed by swelling, flaking, blistering, cracking and pain. ICD can also develop after regular contact with mild irritants such as detergents. It can develop through “Wet Work” the term used to describe prolonged or frequent contact with water (particularly in combination with soaps cleaners and other chemicals.

Dermatitis from wet work is common in trades such as hairdressing, nursing, healthcare, catering, cleaning and metal machining.

Allergic. – Contact Dermatitis (ACD) (skin sensitisation) is an “immunological response” to a sensitising substance (allergen) difficult to distinguish from ICD. However once a person has developed an allergy tiny amounts of allergen will trigger ACD. Solution prevents further exposure.

Urticaria – Shows a wheal (swelling) and flare (red mark). It is different it appears quickly after contact and disappears within hours.

Acne – Inflammatory disease. Grease and oil can cause oil acne in mechanics. Pitch can cause acne in roofers.

The tests take around 20 minutes per person and you will be given the results for your records, contact us for pricing and availability. Mobile Health Surveillance offer pre and exit employment screening for as little as 1 to 2 employees.

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