Information on Occupational Dermatitis

  1. Introduction
  2. Suggested steps
  3. Useful links to further information
  4. Other useful references or other resources


Dermatitis can often be related to workplace factors. It is characterised by redness, itching, scaling, rashes, hives or blistering of the skin.

The two common forms of dermatitis usually seen in the workplace are allergic dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis. When the skin comes into contact with certain substances at work, this can cause occupational dermatitis to occur. things which might cause occupational dermatitis include cleaning products, organic solvents, metalworking fluids, cement, adhesives, other chemicals, and even certain plants.

Substances causing occupational dermatitis are divided into two groups known as irritants and sensitisers. Irritants act directly on the skin through chemical reactions. With sensitisers, skin reactions may not be caused on initial contact, but after repeated exposure, some people will have an allergic reaction. The employer has an important role in controlling workplace exposures to agents which cause occupational dermatitis and in providing appropriate health surveillance and encouraging employees to report symptoms at an early stage.

Suggested steps are:

Useful links for further information on occupational dermatitis:

Other useful resources:

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