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Impaired Skin Condition

Occupational Skin Disorders

An invisible threat to Health, Safety & Efficiency

The scale of workers with impaired skin condition is underestimated and presents an invisible threat to health, safety and efficiency that largely goes unreported in the workplace.

Impaired skin condition ranges from dry skin, which may cause some minor discomfort while working, through to dermatitis with more severe health and wellbeing consequences.

"At any one time 10 - 15% of industrial workers suffer from dermatitis."
Luckhaupt et al; American Journal of Industrial Medicine 56:623-634 (2013)

"Up to 40% of industrial workers will suffer a skin issue at some point in their working life ."
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

"A reported case of diagnosed OSD costs on average $12,000."
Extrapolated from Diepgen T.L. et al, Contact Dermatitis (2013)

"A U.S. government sponsored report shows that on average 1 in 10 workers suffer from dermatitis."
European Dermatology Forum White Book - Skin Disease in Europe

Everyday Risks To Skin At Work

Every day workers are potentially exposed to contaminants and conditions that can be harmful to their skin, for example:

  • Water based detergents, liquids, chemicals
  • UVA and UVB sun rays
  • UVC rays from arc welding
  • Cold conditions indoors or outdoors
  • Mechanical oils, greases, solvents, cutting fluids
  • Resins, adhesives, paints, sealants
  • Dust, powders & airborne substances
  • Abrasion from tools, components and materials you handle
  • Sweating from wearing PPE such as gloves and safety footwear

Exposure to contaminants and working conditions that can be harmful to skin health potentially leads to risks for both the employee and the employer.

There Are Real Impacts To Business & Individuals

  • Impaired grip & pain
  • Decreased dexterity
  • Absenteeism
  • Decrease productivity
  • Risk to safety and well-being of workers
  • Workers compensation claims
  • Direct & indirect costs of treatment
  • Bad publicity
  • Lower morale and self-esteem
  • In worst cases, change of career

 The Key Barriers to Effective Skin Care:

  1. Other priorities and lack of understanding or recognition of the importance of skin health
  2. Insufficient training and education for workers
  3. The lack of appropriate skin care products and facilities
  4. The location and accessibility of the products
  5. The format in which products are provided, which can discourage product use
  6. Some ingredients which can have a negative impact on skin condition