World Day for Safety and Health at Work: 3-Moments to help keep your workforce healthy

The World Day for Safety and Health at Work takes place on the 28th April, promoting the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally.[1] Here at SC Johnson Professional, we know that you need to be able to create safe and healthy environments for your workforce, as they may come into contact with contaminants and conditions which might be harmful to their skin on a daily basis. These conditions can include colder weather and UV radiation from sunlight, with irritants ranging from occupational chemical products to everyday contaminants. These contaminants can lead to an impaired skin condition – a potentially invisible threat to health, safety and efficiency that largely goes underreported in the workplace.

Impaired skin conditions range from dry skin which may cause your employees minor discomfort whilst working, through to dermatitis which carries more severe health and wellbeing consequences. We conducted skin condition tests which found that 93% of workers had dry skin, with 72% having visual signs of skin damage to their hands.[2] Further research has found that 10-15% of industrial workers suffer from dermatitis at any one time,[3] with each case having the potential to cost an employer up to £6000.[4]

Where protective supplies such as hard hats, hi-vis workwear and PPE are clearly provided to protect your workers from everyday risks, skin protection may not be as visible. Regular compliance with best practice when it comes to work skin safety creams is estimated to be less than 10%[5] and your employees may accept their skin condition as part of the job, not viewing skin care as a priority at work.

A coalition of world leading occupational dermatologists agree that hand washing is not enough to protect skin at work and have created the 3-Moments for Skin Care best practice guidance. The guidance defines the 3-Moments when your workers should apply skin care products, to help significantly reduce the risk of occupational skin disease and help keep skin in good condition. These products include protective skin creams, appropriate hand cleansers and restore creams.

Here is an overview of each of these 3-Moments:

  • Protective skin creams used prior to and during work help to reduce direct skin contact with workplace substances and environmental conditions. Use of protective creams can make the skin quicker and easier to clean with milder hand cleaners, whilst effectively retaining the skin’s natural oils and moisture. For your employees, this can help to increase comfort whilst wearing gloves and can improve grip when using hand-held tools.
  • Proper hand cleaning throughout the working day using the appropriate cleansing product helps prevent contaminants from becoming ingrained into the skin. Using hand cleaners that are too heavy for what’s required can be harsh on the skin - whereas using hand cleaners that are too light can lead to over-scrubbing and skin that hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned.
  • Restore creams at the end of the working day then help to maintain good skin condition by supporting the skin’s natural barrier, making the skin feel smooth and supple and preventing it from becoming dry, rough and cracked which can cause discomfort.

Browse our range of skin-friendly workplace hand cleaners here.

 


[1] World Day for Safety and Health at Work, United Nations

[2] SC Johnson Professional Skin Health Assessment Report 2017 with 417 workers at four companies across eight separate sites

[3] Luckhaupt et al; American Journal of Industrial Medicine 56-623-634 (2013)

[4] Diepgen TT.L. et al; Contact Dermatitis 2013; 69-88-106

[5] Independent Research Commissioned by SC Johnson Professional, 2017