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Examples of enforcement - Contact dermatitis

Work related contact dermatitis at an engineering company

HSE received a report of an employee of an engineering company having been diagnosed with work-related dermatitis as a result of contact with various stoving paints.

A visit was made to site where it was evident the company were not doing enough to prevent their employees being exposed to paints. They had provided some gloves but they were unsuitable and workers were failing to wear them. They had not provided any pre-work or after work creams. Workers were seen eating their lunches while still wearing their dirty overalls. In addition workers had not been provided with sufficient information on the products that they were using.


An Improvement Notice was served for failure to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment. The company were however keen to improve and, following the guidance provided, the employers took immediate steps to improve the situation – this included providing appropriate gloves & skin creams and improving knowledge amongst staff.

Upon a revisit to check compliance with the notice, standards had improved.

In addition, the Improvement Notice had a positive effect of the company who took immediate steps to ensure compliance with the notice. The company identified a number of other areas, for example the use of ladders, where they needed to take further action to improve health and safety management within the company.

Poor occupational health practices at a pharmaceutical label printing company

Following a visit to a pharmaceutical label printing company a number of poor practices were identified - cleaning was predominantly done manually with rags; there was no health surveillance despite the use of UV curing inks and a low awareness of the risks of the chemicals in use. Poor glove management was also identified.


Two Improvement Notices were issued – the first requiring adequate control measures and information and instruction and training and the second for suitable health surveillance to be put in place.

The notices were complied with and prompted the company to take further action. The changes made as a result of the inspection included:

Updated 2009-02-06