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Hand Hygiene, Infection Prevention and Food Safety Blog

The Skin Below The Glove

While gloves can be effective at improving overall occupational hand health, a comprehensive skin care programme is essential in guaranteeing healthy hands in the workplace.


Glove-wearers are facing constant challenges related to hand health and comfort when wearing occupational gloves, which can affect overall productivity and efficiency.

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Topics: Glove guidelines, Gloves

How to Keep your Workers' Skin Healthy

Here’s the skinny on worker skin safety: According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH), one out of every four workers is exposed to some form of skin irritant in the workplace.

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Topics: Hand hygiene, Hand Hygiene Education, Hand Washing, Glove guidelines, PPE, Gloves, Food workers, Chapped Skin, Occupational Skin Disease, Preventing Occupational Skin Disease, Chemical Hazards, Skin damage

Skin Care: Keep Your “Body Armor” Healthy

Medieval knights had suits of armor to protect them from dangers during their daily quests. Employees in the modern day workforce face their daily battles often equipped with protection that is only between .05mm and 1.5mm thick!  To put those measurements into perspective, that’s as thin as a sheet of copier paper and as thick as a dime. Our body armor — literally — is our skin.

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Topics: Personal Protective Equipment, Skin Irritations, PPE, Gloves, Dermatitis, Occupational Skin Disease, Preventing Occupational Skin Disease

Handwashing, Soap and Gloves: Food Safety in your Restaurant

There are about a million different kinds of hand soap available on the market. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I say that with a point in mind. There are a lot of hand-cleaning options available, and they still might not be the best choice in preventing the spread of germs and bacteria in your restaurant. This might come as a bit of a surprise considering how often we write about handwashing as the top way to prevent the spread of germs and reduce cross-contamination. I still stand by that, but with asterisks

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Topics: Hand hygiene, Hand Washing, Handwashing, Glove guidelines, Food Safety Practices, germs, Cross-contamination Prevention - Food Industry, Bacteria, CDC, Foodborne Illness, Gloves, Food workers, Food processing, Food Employees, Food Preparation, Food Safety, Cross Contamination

What Happens When Our Skin Fails Us?

One would think that taking care of our skin should be no big deal, that our skin will undergo a never-ending series of rebirths no matter how we treat it. In fact we replace our skin at the rate of one complete outer skin every 27 days.  This means that we will go through about 1,000 new skins in a lifetime.


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Topics: Dry Winter Skin, Hand hygiene, Hand hygiene compliance, Hand Hygiene Education, Hand Hygiene Training & Education, Hand sanitizer, Hand Washing, Hand Washing Behavior, Antibacterial hand wash, Gloves, Washing and drying, Food workers, Food processing, Food Employees, Food Preparation, Dermatitis, Chapped Skin, Barry Michaels, Healthcare Hand Hygiene, Occupational Skin Disease, Preventing Occupational Skin Disease, Chemical Hazards, Outdoor workers, Skin cancer, Skin damage, Ultraviolet radiation, Industrial Soap, Hot water

Occupational Skin Disease: A Cost of Doing Business

Occupational skin disease (OSD) is the most common non trauma-related occupational illness accounting for approximately 14% all occupational illnesses.  It may come as no surprise that food workers have among the highest rates of OSD followed agricultural production, janitorial trades such as hotels and lodging and mechanics.  Food worker rates are over twice as high as other industries. Fifty-five percent of all skin problems in the industry are caused by contact with water, soaps and detergents, with a further 40% of cases arising from contact with food. When OSD occurs, almost half the time, workers compensation claims become involved with up to a quarter of those workers missing several days of work.  Food handlers on sick leave take longer to return to work than employees who suffer skin problems in other professions. The medical literature is well represented with accounts of food handlers suffering from; irritant hand dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, contact urticaria, and protein contact dermatitis and skin infections of the hand.  

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Topics: Food Safety Practices, Cross-contamination Prevention - Food Industry, Foodborne Illness, Gloves, Food workers, Food processing, Occupational Skin Disease, Preventing Occupational Skin Disease, Food Safety

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