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Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when a person suffers an allergic reaction to a substance and becomes sensitised to it, making the skin very painful.

Tips to Protect from Contact Dermatitis

– Make sure you have assessed the risks relating to the substances you use or produce. Some of the most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis
include dyes, adhesives and wood dusts. Check the material safety data sheet (MSDS) to see if the product is harmful to skin.
– Think about how workers come into contact with these substances, whether through direct handling, splash backs, or touching surfaces. Try to avoid
direct contact with the substance, ideally by avoiding its use altogether, or by substituting it for a less harmful product.
– If you need to use the substance, protect the skin by the use of barrier creams and/or suitable gloves. Make sure the gloves are long enough to
stop any substance entering at the wrist and being trapped between the skin and the glove. If disposable gloves are used, make sure they are
thrown in the bin after use.
– Give workers training on the risks associated with dermatitis. Make sure workers clean their hands properly, provide washing basins, soap and
towels for them to do this. Provide moisturising creams to replace the natural oils in the skin.
– Provide skin checks for staff to spot any early symptoms. If problems are identified, check your controls, such as your safe systems of work and
use of gloves, to see if they are still suitable and sufficient.

Dermatitis can be a painful, debilitating disease that often prevents workers from continuing with their job. It is, however, easily prevented. Contact us for more details on how to protect your staff.

HSCS Scotland Promoting a Healthier Workplace Through Safety

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