Global Handwashing Day: keeping your hands in good shape

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  Posted by: electime      18th October 2019

The number of OSDs is widely underestimated nationally; they are more common than you might think. In fact, around 40 per cent of workers will be affected at some point in their career. Cracked, sore, swollen or bleeding hands may be a common, but being their most important tools of the trade, they should be kept in good nick.

The symptoms listed above are common signs of occupational skin disorders (OSDs), which can be rife amongst electricians and installers. 15th October marked Global Handwashing Day and this year, skin care experts Swarfega raised awareness of OSDs as part of good hygiene and hand care.

Ineffective or inappropriate handwashing can seriously impair those who work with their hands. The daily contact with contaminants such as dust, grime and even water itself can mean that skin is irritated – if hands are damp or wet for long periods of time without proper skin care, this can lead to an unpleasant OSD. If the right products are not used to protect and clean the hands, the problem can then be compounded.

Each unreported case of dermatitis is estimated to cost a business £6,000 – so the provision of quality skin care products in the workplace is vital. The lack of proper skin care products is a common complaint amongst employees, with hand cleaners that are not fit for purpose often being installed. For employers, or those who are self-employed, a top priority should be the prevention of OSDs.

Cleaning hands for over 70 years, Swarfega are in a good position to help you best advise your customers. Prevention is always better than the cure, so proper handwashing is vital – OSDs are not something to suffer through, or part of the job. If any of the warning signs of OSDs are spotted, a change in skin care should be adopted as quickly as possible.

The experts at Swarfega gave us the following advice:

  • Strengthen and prepare the skin with a protection cream before a shift – it will also make hands easier to clean at the end of the day.
  • Use the mildest hand cleaner that will clean your hands thoroughly. There is a range of strengths and cleaners on the market, but customers should be guided according to the above, as a rule.
  • Nourish and restore the skin with a moisturising cream after a shift.
  • Advise your customers to avoid using homemade hand cleaners – if they need to shift heavier or more ingrained soilings, they should try a cleaner with non-abrasive scrubbers to help shift the dirt.

Help spread the word – the best and most appropriate skin care products can make a huge difference when it comes to OSDs.

For non-greasy, effective products that work as hard as you, find out more on toughbs.com or contact Swarfega at swarfega@scj.com.