Dermatitis in the Catering Industry – do you know a sufferer? Is your employer doing enough?
Dermatitis is a skin condition that is caused by skin irritants and results in red, sore, dry and even cracked skin that can become infected and painful if not treated correctly.
This is can occur frequently in people who work within the catering industry due to the cleaning agents that are used and contact with water, as well as some food stuffs that can result in allergic reactions. As an employer, there is a duty to manage the risks posed to all employees, as detailed under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and expanded in the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002. Health surveillance is also necessary for staff where dermatitis is present.
With allergic reactions, the exact cause can be difficult to diagnose. It is important that the employer does not adopt generic management strategies for dermatitis without monitoring the outcomes, believing that this is suitable and sufficient.