November 11, 2019

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Skin care

How to reduce occupational skin disorders when working outdoors in the winter

For outdoor workers, having dry and sore skin is a common problem during the winter months, a problem which shouldn’t be ignored. Paul Jakeway, Marketing Director at Deb Group, shares the real threat to workers’ skin and what actions employers can to take.

Deb says that ignoring the issue of dry skin, or not properly managing it, can affect a worker’s effectiveness in the short term and cause serious harm in the long term.

Occupational skin disorders – the silent threat

Winter skin careAt some point in their career, around 40% of workers will suffer from Occupational Skin Disorders (OSDs), making it a significant health and safety issue for businesses.

In the colder months, workers are more likely to suffer from dermatitis – sore and inflamed skin on the hands, which can make routine manual tasks a challenge.

If left untreated, dermatitis can have huge implications for an individual, which in turn can hinder workforce wellbeing, productivity and, as a result, a businesses’ bottom line.

Therefore, it is crucial that health and safety managers implement a good skin health routine to prevent OSDs and ensure outdoor workers are protected.

Implementing the 3-Moments of Skin Care

The 3-Moments of Skin Care, the universal standard for skin care best practice, heralds a breakthrough in the fight against OSDs.

It enables workers to identity when action is required and highlights when skin protection or restorative creams should be applied:

Before work

Specially formulated skin protection creams should be applied, providing a layer to protect the cell wall.

They can reduce direct contact with specific types of physical contaminants, help retain natural lipids and moisture in the skin, improve comfort and skin strength, and make the skin quicker and easier to clean.

During work – after washing

Following contamination or during work breaks, hands should be washed with an appropriate hand cleanser or soap to remove all dirt and harmful contaminants from the skin, and then followed with the application of the correct protection or restore cream, specific to skin type.

After work

Restorative products should be applied to moisturise, nourish and condition the skin, to improve its strength and prevent it from becoming dry or damaged.

To find out more, download the ‘Preventing Occupational Skin Disorders: Skin Care Best Practice’ whitepaper here.

SHP’s guide to helping workers beat the winter slump

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