Skin RisksCertain industries pose greater risks of harmful skin exposure than others. Some of these include food service, healthcare, cosmetology, agriculture, cleaning, painting, mechanics, printing and construction. However, it is important to be aware of skin health practices in any work environment because The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimates that every year, more than 13 million employees are exposed to harmful chemicals that could be absorbed through the skin.
Contact dermatitis, also known as eczema, is one of the most common occupational illnesses, with costs of over $1 billion a year. Contact dermatitis is characterized by itching, pain, redness, swelling and blisters. Burns, punctures and abrasions are another common workplace skin injuries. Employers should take every precaution to ensure employees’ skin stays safe from harm.
Ensure skin safety at work and reduce your potential liability by using preventive techniques. Avoid harmful cleaners and solvents, like paint thinners, abrasive powders and d’limonene-based hand cleaners (also known as “orange” hand soaps). Commercial skin care provider Deb Group says that borax and pumice-based hand cleaners tend to strip skin of its natural barrier, making it more susceptible to skin issues like rashes and dermatitis. Instead of using these potentially harmful cleaners, employers can offer natural, health-conscious skincare brands and soaps from reputable companies.