How to avoid contact dermatitis for cleaning staff

by Ken Buckley on 03-1-2017



Contact dermatitis is very common in the cleaning trade, it has all the classic ingredients; wet hands, detergents, acids & alkalines.

Many work days are lost due to this problem and it is very unpleasant for those affected.

The following are some simple, "cleaning trade specific" steps to help you reduce the occurrence of this problem in your work force.

   1) Staff awareness poster

Firstly and, probably, most importantly; make sure your staff know what dermatitis is and how they can stop it early.

Download this HSE poster and print it off in colour and stick it up in all your cleaning cupboards.


   2) Use Barrier Cream

According to the National Eczema Society "barrier creams and after work emollients should be encouraged as preventative measures".

The best way to achieve this is to have barrier cream in a wall mounted dispenser in the cleaning cupboards or if you have them, staff locker rooms.

You can have tubes of the stuff, but it tends to go walk-about.

Once you have this, tell you staff about it and encourage them to use it.


   3) Give your staff glove liners

Wearing gloves, for a long period, can cause dermatitis. However if you are using cleaning chemicals or wet cloths, you need to wear gloves to protect your hands.

A simple solution is to wear cotton liners under gloves, this keeps your skin dry and allows a certain amount of breathing and they only cost a few pence.


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