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Topic: Occupational health

skin protection
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Skin protection

Safety briefing - skin protection

This briefing provides essential information for workers on the subject of skin protection.

What’s covered?

The aim of this Safety Briefing - Skin Protection is to ensure that workers understand the hazards to their skin and how to manage them

Hazards and reasons for concern

The hazards against which skin protection is needed in the workplace include extremes of temperature, physical hazards, chemicals and biological hazards and radiation. These can cause disease, wounding, burns, inflammation and allergic response.

Control measures

The briefing includes a list of measures which workers must take to protect their skin. This focuses primarily on hand protection, i.e. avoiding contact where possible, wearing gloves, good hygiene, etc. Some of the points, such as the use of coveralls and changing out of contaminated clothing promptly, apply to body protection.

Key points

The key points remind staff of the hazards and the main action points as follows:

  • Don’t take your skin for granted. It is vulnerable to damage and diseases, not all of them curable and it is not a perfect barrier, i.e. some substances can get through and into the blood stream.
  • Avoid contact with chemicals where it’s practical, e.g. by using tools.
  • Use barrier creams and gloves so that general dirt and grease can be washed off more easily and with milder cleansers.
  • Wear the correct gloves and protective clothing for the job - check risk assessments and COSHH assessments.
  • Make sure you replace gloves when they are worn out - or for chemicals, when the wear time has expired.
  • Follow good hygiene practices by regular washing and removing contaminated clothing promptly.
  • Seek treatment promptly for any skin conditions as well as reporting them to your supervisor or manager.

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