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Health and safety at work

Health and safety at work - what it means.


Occupational dermatitis is one of the most widespread causes of ill health can occur in many different jobs.

Dermatitis usually affects the hands and forearms but can spread to other areas of the body in more severe cases. It can look like dry skin but will quickly progress to red, sore, swollen skin that can crack, bleed and become infected if not treated properly.

The law

The current regulations are:

  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 ( as amended)
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992

What do I need to do?

The best way to avoid developing dermatitis is to wear suitable gloves when using substances that can irritate the skin and try to avoid harmful chemicals in your daily work. Anyone can develop occupational dermatitis, but some can be more sensitive than others. Some people have to give up their careers because they are so severely affected by dermatitis. If it is recognised early and treated properly it can be managed and need not cause undue pain and discomfort.

Further guidance

For further information please visit the Health and Safety Executive website.

Published: 12 May 2022

Last updated: 28 April 2023