Health, Safety & Efficiency
Occupational skin disorders, including work-related eczema, are a serious health issue that currently go largely unreported in the workplace; an invisible threat that affects both an organization’s efficiency and the health and well-being of its employees.
"Up to 40% of workers will suffer a skin issue at some point in their working life."
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
"At any one time up to 10-15% of workers suffer from dermatitis."
Luckhaupt et al; American Journal of Industrial Medicine 56:623-634 (2013)
"The incidence of occupational skin diseases...may be underestimated by 10 to 50 times."
European Dermatology Forum White Book – Skin Diseases in Europe
Everyday workers are potentially exposed to contaminants and conditions that can cause occupational skin disorders, 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 lead to skin disorders leads to risks for both the employee and the employer.
Risk for Employees
- Absence from work due to illness
- Reduced efficiency at work
- Reduced pay
- Lower morale and self-esteem
- In worst cases, change of career
Risk for Employers
- Bad publicity
- Increased cost due to sick days
- Reduced productivity
- Increased training & recruitment costs
- In worst cases, potential compensation claims
The majority of cases of occupational skin disorders are irritant and allergic contact dermatitis, accounting for up to 95%, followed by skin cancer.
"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
The Key Barriers to Effective Industrial Skin Care:
- Other priorities and lack of understanding or recognition of the importance of skin health
- Insufficient training and education for workers
- The lack of appropriate industrial skin care products and facilities
- The location and accessibility of the products
- The format in which products are provided, which can discourage product use
- Some ingredients which can have a negative impact on skin condition