Dermatitis worries for hairdressers


The Health and Safety Executive have recently launched a new campaign to tackle skin damage.

They are asking all hairdressers to wear non-latex gloves whilst working in a bid to reduce skin conditions such as dermatitis. Hairdressers are well known for suffering from skin damage with exposure to harsh chemicals and constant contact with water.

Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin and usually forms 2 types eg: irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis.

Irritant contact dermatitis relates to contact with chemicals and can also develop gradually through wet working or working with milder chemicals eg shampoo.

Allergic contact dermatitis often develops more quickly and can be caused by shampoos or colourants. It is important to note that allergic reactions can develop later on after you have used a product for many months or years.

The law states that employers must control exposure to materials in the workplace that could cause skin conditions. Your employer must ensure they comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (as amended) (COSHH) which means they must:

  • assess the risks
  • provide adequate control measures and ensure their use and maintenance
  • provide information, instruction and training
  • provide health surveillance in appropriate cases

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