The aim of this toolbox talk is to increase awareness on the effective skin protection both in and out of the workplace.
The use of regular toolbox talks, if done effectively, will significantly improve the safety culture within your organisation. This will increase the safety awareness of the workers, and as a result reduce the likelihood of accidents and unsafe occurrences.
- Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
- Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- (COSHH) Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
Protecting your skin whilst at work
Occupational dermatitis is a common health problem within the construction industry. Potential causes include cement, pitch, tar, paints, varnishes, brick, stone and plaster dust, mineral oils, organic solvents, thinners, petrol, and white spirit, to name but a few.
It most commonly affects the hands, forearms and legs, but in dust, mist or fume form it can also affect the face, neck or chest, etc. (any exposed area of the body). Some types of dermatitis, if untreated, can result in cancer.
Look for the hazard warning signs on substance containers and understand what they say and what they mean. If in doubt, ASK FOR CLARIFICATION.
Avoid contact with potential causes so far as is reasonably practicable and where contact is unavoidable wear suitable Personal Protective Equipment.
Report any rashes, warts and/or skin complaints to the site manager, nurse or family doctor AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Get first aid for any cuts and grazes and keep them covered.
- Keep your workplace clean.
- Keep your skin clean and use barrier cream for protection.
- Don’t use abrasives or solvents to clean your skin.
- Don’t wear oil contaminated clothes next to your skin.
- Don’t let synthetic resins or glue harden on your skin.
- Don’t work with irritant or allergic substances if you suffer from eczema or allergic rashes.
- Regularly inspect your skin for any possible signs – if in any doubt seek advice from a professional.