Cold Weather Skin Care in Construction
Skin care is an ongoing challenge for construction teams. As cold, wet and icy conditions become more frequent in winter months, workers face increased risk of occupational skin disorders.
Health and safety leaders must stay ahead of the issue. Overlooking skin care can not only lower productivity and team effectiveness, it can also cause serious harm for colleagues in the long term.
The Impact of Skin Disorders
Around 40% of industrial workers will suffer with a work-related skin issue at some point in their career. Clearly, this is a significant health and safety issue that needs attention.
In winter months, contact dermatitis is a big risk for construction teams. Dermatitis can cause the skin on the hands to become red, blistered, dry and cracked, making manual tasks a challenge. What’s more, untreated dermatitis can cause significant discomfort, pain, loss of sleep and can even become infected.
It’s vital that health and safety leaders take an active stance on skin care to prevent occupational skin disorders and keep team wellbeing and productivity high.
Creating a Healthy Skin Routine
Establishing a skin care routine is crucial. Teams should be encouraged to get into good habits at home. This includes a moisturising routine and avoiding long, hot showers which can lead to dryness.
Once colleagues are onsite, it’s your responsibility to ensure that skin care stations are widely available so they can clean contaminants and protect skin.
Step One – Protect
A protective solution should be applied to clean and dry hands before commencing work for added protection against oil and water-soluble substances. This step helps to retain natural lipids and moisture in the skin, keeping it protected as well as quicker and easier to clean.
Step Two – Cleanse
A cleansing solution is applied to hands with water following contamination. Cleansing removes dirt and harmful contaminants from the skin and stops the spread of germs – particularly important in winter months.
Step Three – Restore
A restorative solution should be applied to clean and dry hands at the end of work to help replenish natural skin oils. This step nourishes and conditions the skin, improving its strength and preventing it from becoming dry or damaged.
Don’t Forget Your Winter Gloves
Winter gloves with thermal and waterproof properties are needed keep hands protected against the elements and offer resistance to convective cold, contact cold and water. This will not only keep skin protected but will guard against safety issues caused by loss of dexterity in cold conditions.
Keep skin disorders at bay and ensure your teams wellbeing: talk to one of our safety champions about our skin care solutions and winter PPE on 0333 003 5710.
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