Occupational Skin Disease Stopped Cold

Occupational skin disease (OSD) is caused by hazardous agents directly affecting the skin or creeping through it to wreak havoc with other body parts.

In this podcast, Dan Clark tells how to prevent occupational skin disease, the 2nd most common type of occupational disease.

The human body’s largest organ is your skin. It’s 10 percent of the body’s mass. All that surface area easily exposes it to hazardous agents — dermal exposure.

Occupational skin disease can appear as:

• Irritations — such as hives and burns.
• Allergies — caused by an immune response.
• Cancers

Chemical agents that make direct contact with the skin is the main focus of this podcast, however, occupational skin disease can also be caused by:

• Physical agents – sun exposure, hot and cold temperature exposure.
• Mechanical trauma – friction, abrasions, cuts and bruises.
• Biological agents -plants, animals, bacteria, viruses and parasites.


• Industrial hygiene. Maintain a clean workplace. Clean surfaces that could have residues.
• Personal hygiene. Provide facilities for hand washing, showers, and laundry service if needed.
• Implement The Hierarchy Of Hazard Controls:

○ 1. Substitute safer substances. Take hazardous ones out of the workplace.
○ 2. Engineer tasks to limit exposure. Example: Can you automate a process to avoid chemical handling by employees?
○ 3. Administrative controls. Rotate jobs to reduce any one worker’s exposure to chemicals.
○ 4. PPE. Provide appropriate gloves, boots and masks. Note that it’s listed last. PPE is the last line of defense.

If an employee is experiencing symptoms and you or a doctor believe the problem could be work related:

• See if other workers are experiencing symptoms.
• Examine the employee’s tasks and see what substances they work with.
• See the substances’ safety data sheets for warnings and precautions.

The Safety Brief episode, Occupational Skin Disease Stopped Cold, is a service of Creative Safety Supply. Save 10 percent off your entire order at creativesafetysupply.com with coupon code BIG10.

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