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Tips for preventing work-related skin disorders

Published on Feb 12, 2016 at 3:16 pm in General Blogs.

In many types of jobs in Maryland and throughout the nation, occupational skin disorders can be problematic for both employers and their employees. In fact, according to a recent report from the Journal of the American Medical Association, employers can lose about 24 days and nearly $3,500 in workers’ compensation claims from a single employee suffering from work-related dermatitis. However, there are ways to prevent occupational skin disorders from occurring at the workplace.

Employees who are constantly exposed to skin-irritating substances and materials at the workplace are vulnerable to skin disorders, including irritant and allergic contact dermatitis and even skin cancer. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of people suffering from occupational dermatitis also incurred chronic skin disease. Therefore, it is crucial to recognize the early stages of skin disorders before they become worse, not only for the benefit of the employee’s health, but also to keep the employer’s costs down.

As a leading form of work-related illnesses, occupational dermatitis has many early symptoms, including itchy, bleeding or cracked skin. Since preventing dermatitis is easier than curing it, employees should wear gloves and other personal protective equipment during exposure to harmful substances and irritants.

Likewise, employees should frequently wash their hands and use protective hand cream every few hours while they work. Besides making the skin easier to clean, skin cream works to replenish the skin’s natural lipids so that it will not dry out and crack. Otherwise, microorganisms and physical contaminants could easily get into an employee’s skin and cause an infection. Skin cream also protects the skin from extreme cold temperatures and exposure to UV rays that could cause skin cancer.

Since some workplace injuries could lead to an occupational disease, such as skin cancer, employers are obligated to carry workers’ compensation insurance. A local attorney could assist in the filing process to help ensure the injured worker receives his or her due benefits.

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