Food Handler Medicals And The Risk Of Skin Disease


Occupational skin disease is the most widespread cause of occupational ill health. Last year over 3000 new cases of Occupational dermatitis were reported, with 75% of these cases of skin disease being as a result of contact with substances from soaps to hazardous chemicals. Initial signs can range from redness and itchiness to scalding and if left unchecked, leave the sufferer with cracked skin prone to bleeding. It can often prove so detrimental to workers that role modifications are necessary.

Skin surveillance is carried out in the form of regular checks to employees working in a wide variety of industries including:

hairdressing
catering
health services and dentistry
construction
printing
metal machining and
motor vehicle repair etc…
Although skin disease happens more in certain high risk industry sectors, the food industry being one, where direct contact occurs with food, the law states that employees and employers have to comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) trading and working in all the above industries.

Occupational Medicals offers skin checks as part of a Health Surveillance programme, which can be carried out on site together with other medicals like Lung Function Testing (Spirometry) and Hearing Checks (Audiometry), Night worker medicals, Lone worker and Confined space medicals according to industry specific medicals that are necessary to be carried out on a regular basis.
The Health and Safety Executive’s website provides extensive information on the definition of what substances are classed as hazardous and states amongst other things the following paragraph:

Substances Hazardous to Health
This term has a legal meaning within the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations. In summary, it covers substances or preparations carrying the very toxic, toxic, harmful, corrosive or irritant symbol; substances and products with occupational exposure limits known as workplace exposure limits (WELs); biological agents, dusts of any kind that have a concentration in air equal to or greater than 10 mg/m3 (inhalable) and 4 mg/m3 (respirable); and substances whose chemical or toxic properties and the way they are used or produced create a risk to health (eg ‘wet work’).
The full document is available on the following link http://www.hse.gov.uk/skin/professional/legal.htm

For further information about food handler medicals, what can cause skin disease or the common types of skin disease and to book an appointment or discuss your industry specific needs, please give us a ring or click here to enquire.

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Registered address: Charles House, Albert St, Eccles, Manchester M30 0PW