Work-related skin problems are very common. They can happen in most workplaces although they happen more in certain high-risk jobs. They can be very costly, not just through the suffering individuals experience (which can lead to ending their careers), but also because they can be a burden for employers who are left with sickness absence, recruitment, training and compensation expenses.
Work-related skin problems are caused or made worse by exposure to/coming into contact with substances such as chemicals, and also through having wet hands for long periods, while at work. Dermatitis (also known as eczema) is by far the most common, but urticaria and skin cancer are also problems. Exposure to the sun can also cause problems.
The good news is that although these problems are common they are preventable. There are simple, cost-effective steps employers and workers can take to avoid skin problems at work, and to manage them if they do happen, using the Avoid, Protect and Check approach.