Skin Surveillance in the workplace

Skin Surveillance in the workplace

Skin Surveillance

Skin surveillance is a service that checks and monitors skin health among your employees. Your employees will be asked to complete a health questionnaire specifically about the condition of your skin e.g. have you ever suffered from eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis?

The occupational health professional will then look over areas of your skin that are often exposed to irritants such as hands and arms or where they have indicated they have a skin problem. It will not be necessary for them to undress for this assessment.

Effects of exposure to skin irritants

All of the above can cause dermatitis. Corrosive or irritating chemicals can also lead to dermatitis. Solvents on the skin make other chemicals more likely to cause skin damage.

UV (ultraviolet) radiation from the sun is a major cause of skin cancer. If you work outside you should consider exposure to UV radiation as an occupational health hazard.

Substance that can irritate the skin

  • Epoxy resins
  • Latex
  • Rubber chemicals, soaps and cleaners, metal work fluids, cement
  • Wet work (hand immersion, particularly multiple short-term immersions using soap or detergent)
  • Enzymes

Precautions you can take

  • Use moisturising creams before and after This will help to replace the natural oils that your skin loses when you wash or when you come into contact with detergents and solvents
  • Keep your skin clean
  • Wear the correct gloves when you are handling sub- stances that can cause dermatitis
  • If you are provided with protective clothing make sure you wear them, and that they are kept clean and intact. Report any damage to the protective clothing to your manager and seek a replacement