Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

What’s Under Your Skin?

Dear <<Most Favored Employer Client>>:

Occupational skin diseases (OSD) are some of the most common work-related medical conditions, with 13 million workers regularly exposed to irritant substances.  Most at risk are workers in these industries:

  • Food service
  • Cosmetology
  • Health care
  • Agriculture
  • Cleaning
  • Painting
  • Mechanics
  • Printing/lithography
  • Construction

Skin conditions range from allergic or irritant contact dermatitis to infection, injuries such as burns, cuts or abrasions, and skin cancer.

Chemical agents are the primary culprits and can cause immediate skin reactions or allergic reactions with exposure over periods of time.  Other causes of skin conditions include physical agents such as heat, cold or radiation, trauma causing cuts and abrasions, and biological agents like bacteria, parasites, insects and plants.

The most common condition is contact dermatitis, of either the irritant or allergic categories.  It is estimated to result in $1B annual costs.

What can you do as an employer to protect your staff?

  • Elimination: The best cure is prevention! Eliminating the offending substance is the most effective method to reduce exposure that leads to skin condition.
  • Substitution: If possible, employers should attempt to substitute the hazardous agent a less hazardous compound.
  • Engineering controls: If elimination or substitution is not possible, engineering controls such as local exhaust ventilation systems and isolation booths can prevent hazardous agents from contacting workers’ skin.
  • Administrative controls: Provide training programs that educate workers about hazards that they may be exposed to and ways to protect themselves from the hazards.
  • Personal protective equipment: Personal protective equipment such as gloves, safety glasses or goggles, shop coats or coveralls, and boots should be provided by employers and worn by workers involved in the following activities (not an exhaustive list):
    • Wet or dry cleaning of work tools, equipment and work areas
    • Disinfection of work tools, equipment, and work areas
    • Contact with solvents
    • Contact with monomers of epoxy resins and tacky surfaces or hardening agents (such as glue or epoxy resins)
    • Use of preparations containing soaps, detergents, and disinfectants
  • Early Assessment: If/when a worker develops symptoms of occupational skin disease, send them for evaluation and treatment as soon as possible.  At <<our urgent care center>> we can evaluate workers with skin conditions right away and get them some relief of their symptoms while we help to avoid ongoing exposure.

We’re happy to discuss any of your workplace health needs, just give us a call at xxx-xxx-xxxx or email at workdocs@occmed.com

PS – enjoy this workplace safety song – I’ve got you under my skin

Or here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1AHec7sfZ8


Make sure your providers are conversant in treating worker’s comp injuries – see the Occmed for Providers course to get everyone up to speed

Unlock the secrets to optimizing your occupational health program.

The NAOHP 2023 Occupational Health Benchmark Study delves into vital factors affecting service delivery. Covering compensation, quality, sales, marketing, and technology, it offers insights to enhance programs.