Safety_01.gif (3940 bytes)Pacific Employers

                                        Advisors to Management

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 ~ Skin Protection ~

* Safety Training *

Protect Your Skin

Your skin is designed to protect you from harmful environments. Naturally there are times you must take extra precautions to protect it. With the summer season fast approaching, now is the time to review how to protect yourself. Every case of sunburn or dermatitis means inconvenience, pain, distress, possible disfigurement, and lost income. Follow these safety procedures to keep your skin healthy -it has to last you a lifetime.

Always be honest. It's important for your supervisor to know if you tend to perspire heavily, have allergies, have already had dermatitis, or if you come in contact with irritants in your home or work environment. All of these things can make you more prone to dermatitis.

Be aware of irritants around you. Do you work with dust producing processes, radiation equipment, or chemicals? Be careful of any contact with these irritants, and follow your supervisor's advice for protecting yourself. Read the labels on containers and other product information prior to using them.

Take proper precautions. Always wear your personal protective equipment and protective clothing. Conduct a safety and health inspection of your work area and identify any potential hazards that may affect you. OSHA requires a competent person trained in hazard recognition to survey the area and prepare a certifying document to be provided to the employee upon request. The employee must be trained in the proper inspection, use, storage, life expectancy and sanitation of the equipment.

Keep clean. Personal cleanliness is considered the best defense against skin conditions. Use your workplace washing facilities and proper cleansers regularly, at least four times a day - during work, before and after lunch, and before leaving to go home.

Be Smart. Never use turpentine, acetone, or other solvents to clean paint or other items off your skin. Use only soap or proper cleansers provided by your company.

Use barrier creams. Always apply to clean skin, and wash the cream off before eating when it becomes soiled. Re-apply the cream to clean skin.

Change your clothing. Before leaving your work environment, if you were working in an area that may have contaminants, change your work clothes. It may be necessary to wash or shower at the end of your shift. Never wash your work clothes with your families clothing. Statistics have proved that many family members have been exposed to and come down with infectious diseases just by washing the clothes from a contaminated area. If you wash your work clothes at home, run an extra wash cycle containing a sanitizer before washing the family clothes.

Be alert. Be alert for any symptoms of dermatitis, and, if you notice any, report immediately to your company's medical department. Symptoms include dryness, redness, scaling, flaking, cracking or thickening of the skin; swelling sensations of heat or itching or blisters; acne; a change in skin color; or anything else that is unusual.

Be responsible. It is your skin! Learn all that you can about skin irritants. Read the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for each chemical or irritant that you work with, and follow the instructions carefully. When working outside in the sun, wear appropriate sun block and cover your skin as much as possible.

Remember, prevention is the best policy and prevention is always much more effective than a cure.

* Don't Be Thick Skinned On Safety *

We welcome comments about this article, and your requests for future topics.

    If you have a specific topic you would like to see covered here or that you may need for your company, please send an Email to our Tail Gate Safety Topics editor, Dave Miller at demiller@pacificemployers.com or to peinfo@pacificemployers.com. Thanks!

 

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Copyright 2001 by David E. Miller

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