The industrial workplace has evolved dramatically over the past 20+ years, so why haven't heavy duty hand cleaners? We work with hundreds of hardworking men and women in the commercial and industrial fields and they all have one common complaint- cracked and damaged hands. It’s time to bring these important hand cleaning products up to date.
Facility managers speak about and ensure that workers are protecting their hands from harmful chemicals, hazards, and extreme temperatures. However, there is little emphasis on actual hand care. Protective measures, like wearing gloves, are only the first step in hand and skin care. It's time to emphasize the link between hand care and safety issues.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)has estimated that workplace skin diseases account for 15 percent to 20 percent of all reported occupational diseases in the United States, with estimated total annual costs (including lost workdays and lost productivity) up to $1 billion. Skin exposure to chemicals causes injuries and illness including contact dermatitis and irreversible skin damage. The CDC estimates that 40 percent of workers will suffer a skin issue at some point in their working life, and they estimate that more than half of working time lost through industrial diseases is due to dermatitis.
Pain, suffering and skin damage are the most obvious effects of work related skin contamination, but productivity decrease, missed work, and health and safety violations should be a concern for every facility. It is time to look beyond protective gloves to address hand care.
Heavy duty hand care products remain harsh and abrasive. Most of the popular products on the market may pose a bigger risk in exchange for clean hands. Heavy duty hand cleaners can expose workers to ingredients and chemicals that are equally as harsh as the ones they are attempting to remove. Harsh hand cleaners often result in a cycle of hand irritation and skin disease that is preventable.
Take Control of Hand Protection
The use of gloves may not always be possible or fully protective and so washing stations should be equipped with heavy duty hand cleaners that do not contribute to further hand damage. Only use hand cleaning products that are free of pumice and harsh chemicals. Look for hand cleaning products that are biodegradable, water-based and solvent-free. Hand cleaners with natural ingredients are best for skin.
Industrial workplaces have improved with regard to safety but there is a need to update industrial skin care. By investing in safer and more effective heavy duty hand cleaners, employees will be happier and healthier and you will promote a more sustainable and more cost-effective work environment.