Although everyone knows how to wash their hands, they may not be using the correct strength cleanser or undertaking post-work restoration to replenish the skin’s natural oils, prevent dry skin and help reduce the risk of irritant dermatitis. Pre-work protection of the skin is particularly important in the automotive aftermarket industry, as contact with potentially hazardous materials is inevitable. While many businesses have made significant strides in promoting good skin care, occupational skin disorder still affects one in five technicians each year and is widely accepted to be under-reported.
Swarfega offers a host of cost-effective products suitable for workshop applications. The simple ‘Three-Step Skin Safety System’ is designed to protect hands and maximise hand hygiene. It helps users look after their skin in a workshop environment, by offering protection, cleansing and restoration products:
Pre-work cream helps protect the skin against possible harm from contaminants. Ideal for use under latex and nitrile gloves to provide a second line of defence and makes the skin easier to clean.
A choice of various Swarfega hand cleaners helps prevent the build-up of soiling and reduces contact time with contaminants.
After-work conditioning cream helps maintain healthy skin and avoid dryness.
Disposable gloves offer technicians some protection from dirt and grease; however, the material and make-up of the gloves could be a potential cause of some skin complaints. Wearing gloves often leads to sweating during use, leading to over-hydration of the ‘hands barrier layer’ that can result in dry skin, since impaired barrier function allows moisture in the skin to evaporate. It is, therefore, important that individuals who use gloves are educated properly on the correct cleansing and care of hands while at work.
With this in mind, it is essential to know how best to protect the hands both during and after work if gloves are used regularly:
- Looking at the strength of cleanser being used. Very strong soap or detergent can destroy the acidity as well as de-fat the surface skin and therefore the protection it offers; so a lighter strength cleanser is required, to prevent skin dryness and reduce the risk of dermatitis.
- Using a post-work restoration cream to rehydrate and help restore the skin’s natural oils, keeping it supple and healthy. Regular use at the end of each work period ensures a reduced risk of dry skin.
Increased Health Risks
There has been a significant increase in the number of reported cases of occupational skin disease diagnosed by specialist physicians. Despite a growing number of technicians using disposable gloves to protect their hands, they remain at an increased health risk as most don’t carry out correct post-work skin care.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) state that approximately 70% of reported occupational skin diseases are contact dermatitis.
The ‘Three-Step’ solution from Swarfega can be used in conjunction with protective gloves to ensure hands are kept both clean and in good health. All Swarfega skincare products are provided with wall-mounted dispensers that offer cost-effective, consistent dosages and supporting usage information.