Hot Topic #16
Occupational Skin Diseases
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Bild vergrössern Photo by Thomas Hawk
Here you can find a selection of good practice examples dealing mainly or partly with this topic, in random order.
Please keep in mind that this list will not be (and cannot be) complete, so take a look at our TOOLBOX and our GOOD PRACTICE area for more examples.

NAPO: “Your skin” (Europe)
Web site
This Napo movie deals with dangers for your skin at work, with skin diseases and skin problems caused by workplace situations. „Which are the most important 2 square meters of you life?“ Napo, the 3d computer animated character gives the answer to this question: „Your skin!“. Napo gives tips for a healthy skin at work and at home.

safehair (Europe)
Web site
The project SafeHair is supposed to support the implementation of occupational health and safety standards in hairdressing for the European Union (Declaration of Dresden). In addition SafeHair gives recommendation for the curriculum in vocational training of hairdressers. Furthermore, a questionnaire (EvaHair) was developed by the University of Osnabrueck to assess the state of the art of current health and safety standards in hairdressing and to evaluate the implementation process of new or modified health and safety standards. In the scope of the 2nd stage of the project, a modular SafeHair Skin&Beauty Toolbox for different Target Groups has been developed.
This example can be found in detail in our GOOD PRACTICE area

Reducing Dermatitis among hairdressers (NL)
Web site
The government (Ministry of Social Affairs), employers and employees representatives agreed that they wanted to see a major reduction in the number of new cases of dermatitis among hairdressers setting a target of a 50% reduction by the year 2005. They decided to draw-up a covenant (voluntary, national agreement) for the sector, setting out targets and measures that needed to be taken to tackle the problem. The covenant places obligations on employers to provide safer workplaces, employees to follow safe work practices and manufacturers to modify their products to prevent skin contact with their products.

Occupational Skin Disease: An Expert Guide (UK)
Occupational skin disease is a serious health issue that often goes unreported in the workplace as it’s importance is not widely recognised, yet in many cases could be prevented with simple skin care regimes. As part of our commitment to keep people safe in the workplace we have created this Expert Guide to provide guidance on minimising occupational skin disease. It highlights the risks it brings to a business and its employees, the legal requirements and describes the steps to implement a tailored skin care management system, necessary to deliver best practice.

Occupational skin disease (New Zealand)
Web site
Occupational skin diseases are among the most common occupational diseases reported. For a skin disease to be considered occupational in origin, there must be a causal relationship between the occupation or work and the skin disease. This website offers lots of information on this topic.

Occupational Skin Disease Posters (Canada)
Web site
Based on the worker feedback gathered during the research project, it was evident that workers respond best to messaging that is relevant to their workplace, industry and themselves. For this reason, WSPS in collaboration with CREOD, launched a new online tool that allows workers and employers to customize a series of seven OSD awareness poster templates and then download the posters directly from the website. Each poster in the series promotes an occupational health and safety prevention practice.

Occupational Health Toolkit (UK)
Web site
Around two million people suffer from a work-related illness in Great Britain and an astonishing 30 million working days are lost because of ill health caused by work. Among others, 3,500 people each year are diagnosed with work-related skin diseases. To change this, IOSH developed the Occupational Health Toolkit, which is a web site providing a collection of material and instruments. There are already plenty of good resources available, but the problem was always finding them. Now they're all in one place and cover the spectrum from prevention to rehabilitation. The Toolkit also offers supplementary resources, including presentations, to use in tackling health problems at work.

Sustainability of an Interdisciplinary Secondary Prevention Program in Hairdressers (Germany)
Web site University of Osnabrück
215 young hairdressers suffering from occupational skin diseases (OSD) have attended a 6-month combined dermatological and educational prevention program with an integrated patient education and counselling scheme as well as an intervention in the respective hairdressers’ shops. The aim of this program by the Department of Dermatology, Environmental Medicine and Health Theory, Faculty of Human Sciences, University of Osnabrueck, was to enable the affected hairdressers to remain at work without suffering from major OSD.

The L- program (Austria)
AUVA Web site
Theoretical instruction in accident prevention for teachers at vocational schools for technical professions. Safe start into work life, law and rights, social security, protective equipment, ear protection, skin protection.

Start into the job (Germany)
Link to the brochure
In accordance with this years’ European Week Campaign “Safe start” the new Basics-brochure “Start into the job” (Start in den Beruf) is published. The brochure is compact and comprehensible with the famous “Kult-Cartoons” of Jacek Wilk. The content is as follows: - In cold print: paragraphs one should know about - Common aim: Who is doing what in the enterprise? - Loosen up: the first weeks in the new job - Allergies: “Go through the skin” - Cool styling: Personal protective equipment - Noise: Here’s something for the ears.

Work Healthy (Sweden)
Web site
Roughly one in five pupils in Europe has or has had eczema (see atopic eczema) or asthma. They are much more sensitive than others to things that irritate and damage the skin and the airways, and this may affect them during their training or future work. People with hand eczema or asthma, for example, may need to take sick leave or change their career, which is often a difficult process. The Work Healthy website aims to raise awareness of the risk of asthma and eczema at work and ways of preventing problems.

Choose Hand Safety (USA)
Web site
This website provides information and training on hand saftey, using hand tools and gloves. Hand injuries including cuts, strained muscles and tendons, damaged nerves, skin disorders, and burns can impact the quality of work, productivity – and even end careers. Understand the risks. Learn how to protect your hands, including what to look for when choosing and using hand tools and gloves.

paedimed (Germany)
Web site
Paedimed was a health promotion project based on a resource oriented salutogenic health concept. By specific measures, individuals shall be enabled to increase their control over their own health status and to improve their health actively. This concept focuses on the resources of individuals and not on risk factors. Health promotion has not yet been implemented in Europe in a sufficient manner. For this reason, partners from the fields of health and education in Germany, Italy and Romania have joined forces to support this concept. The project team is interdisciplinary and international, consisting of partners from the medical field (dermatology, social medicine) and from the educational field (media education, health education). Participating countries in the paedimed project were Germany, Italy and Romania.

UPSI saves the big Whale (Germany)
Web site
Upsi is a comic character, created by the Accident Insurance Berlin to rise awareness for OSH topics in a playful way. Eight books and one radio play have been released until now. This book teaches children about skin and skin protection. Every Kindergarten in Berlin can get this book for free and use it.
This example can be found in detail in our GOOD PRACTICE area

Full Breath (Volle Puste) (Germany)
Web site
Often work-related diseases can be prevented through suitable preventive measures. Therefore, it is very important to raise awareness for potential workplace-related health hazards among young people, and to inform them about appropriate solution strategies already before the start of their apprenticeships. This project aims at educating young people on occupational diseases, youth employment law and health and safety measures. In the long term perspective, this course will help to prevent health-related drop-outs among apprentices.
This example can be found in detail in our GOOD PRACTICE area

Web site
This interactive course is aimed at health and safety professionals and occupational health professionals responsible for reducing skin related ill health in the workplace, and those needing a wider knowledge base of managing skin exposure in the workplace. It is a course for individuals who want to ensure compliance with regulations and that action reduces not increases damage to health from skin exposure.

Dermatitis & other skin conditions (Australia)
Web site
Our skin is an amazing organ: when assaulted from the outside by irritants, or from the inside by disease, skin raises a red danger flag in the form of a rash. The rash could be irritation, a virus, a bacterial infection or an allergy. Dermatitis is the general term for any inflammation of the skin and is a common work-related condition. It is not infectious – it cannot be passed from one person to another.This website offers lots of information.

To learn more, go to our TOOLBOX and type in the title of the example, go to the GOOD PRACTICE area (if the example is presented there) or follow the link to the project web site.