HSE International ISSUE 109 - Page 43

Education a crucial part of skin health More education is needed in the workplace to help employees understand the risks they face and how to avoid them. Many, like Jason, a 41-year-old labourer, realise that the equipment they have can be part of the problem — and that they need more help to protect their skin health. “We do wear proper protective gloves for handling glass and stuff like that, so your hands tend to sweat a bit,” Jason says. “My hands are pretty bad with cracks — especially in winter. When my wife sees my hands, she tells me to put moisturiser on, but I’ll be rubbing it in for ages, so I don’t tend to bother, you know?” On the subject of education about skin health, Jason says “There’s not a lot out there about skin conditions and hands. There’s a lot more that can be done.” What is being done in the workplace? It is clear there is a need for more training in the workplace. Health and safety talks are often given, but focus on the more obvious risks to employee health such as falls from height or respiratory disease — ignoring the importance of skin health. While skin care provisions are often in place to prevent OSDs, most employees do not receive the corresponding training on why, how and when these creams should be used. That is why all Health & Safety Managers are encouraged to introduce an effective 3-step programme for skin care that includes products that protect, cleanse and restore the skin – as well as specific training on how and when to use each product, in the form of toolbox talks. Before work, employees should apply a protective cream to reduce contact with potential contaminants and irritants, while improving comfort and skin strength when wearing gloves. People should also use the appropriate cleansers after their hands become contaminated, as well as a restorative cream at the end of the working day — moisturising, nourishing and conditioning the skin to &WfVBBg&&V6֖rG'BFvVB&fW76&FV7BB&W7F&R7&V2ffW"&V&VVfG2Fv&W'2FW6&R7V6f2FFRGR`v&FR6F֖G2V6v&6RBFR66FFbFRv&W'2FV6VfW2( 2FFFF&Vpf7B'6&&rBw&V7VW'2&RGf6VBF6&RFW6R7FW2vFVffV7FfRB&VwV"G&rFR&fR66&P&w&RrF7Bv&&VFVB6&&V@FR7FW2FFRgFW"FVFgrRvWFW"R&RVVR&WBFV&&W f'7B"R&R&6r&WF&VVB"Fp&WGvVVB27'V6FVFW'7FBFBW"G0vGFW"rBF&VvWBW"VF&RƖfRvFVVW27VrWBvRRFBW7626&PV&B&WBFR&FV7Fb6BFBFR76R`"6VF6&R'&VWW&VvV7f"6fWGBVFBv&"WW&VFW&Fwf'VvFR&( 26F6V6W026VFW'2f"F6V6R6G&b&WfVFअ4RDU$DC0