Checks and precautions you can take to prevent damage to skin
As an employer you have a duty of care to protect your employees and yourself from workplace hazards. Employees also have a responsibility to protect themselves and others.
If not managed correctly, skin irritation problems can have a considerable impact on employees and organisations.
Use the links below to find information on common hazards to skin and precautions.
There are a number of things you can do to help prevent or reduce the risk of exposure to skin.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have a publication on this topic which you can download from their website.
Visit the HSE site for the publication, Managing risks from skin exposure at work
If skin problems are likely in your workplace, you should appoint and train a responsible person to manage, monitor and record skin exposure. Checking skin regularly will help to spot the early signs of skin damage due to work exposures. The earlier the symptoms are spotted, the quicker it can be treated.
You may need to carry out more formal
Employees also have a duty to follow the employer’s instructions and control measures.
They should adopt a good personal skin hygiene regime to maintain healthy skin. They should
Avoiding skin contact will not always be possible. In such cases you should provide suitable personal protective equipment to your employees, such as gloves or overalls.
The use of gloves should not be the first or only precaution taken. It is however a very good temporary precaution while you make arrangements for proper protection.
When providing gloves, it is important to make sure they are
The HSE have a guide on their site for choosing the right gloves to protect skin.
Visit the HSE site for a guide on choosing the right gloves
As well as providing gloves or overalls, you can also protect the skin by providing skincare products. These can help to remove dirt and keep the skin hydrated and lubricated.
There are three main types of skincare products.
You can find out more about how to prevent work related skin disease at
It’s in Your Hands.
You can also find more information in our publication, Health risks at work.
Go to our Health risks at work publication
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For information on workplace health, safety and wellbeing, contact your local health board team