Health & Safety News

News added on 06.03.2015

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Occupational health

Health trust fined over dermatitis failings

A health trust has been fined due to a breach of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations which resulted in staff suffering with dermatitis. How can you avoid the same fate?

Fined. An NHS trust has been fined after the HSE carried out an investigation and found that at least 23 cases of dematitis had not been reported. The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 require that cases of occupational dermatitis must be reported to the HSE.

Control measures lacking. Staff in the hospital were at risk of developing skin problems as they needed to frequently wash their hands, were encouraged to use hand gels and wear gloves to reduce the risk of infection during some procedures. Despite this, they were given little information on how they could reduce the risk of dermatitis through simple measures such as drying hands thoroughly and using moisturisers.

In addition, the trust did not carry out regular health checks of staff in order to identify skin issue symptoms. If staff reported problems, the trust’s occupational health team told them to see their GP; no link was made between occupational health and dermatology.

Employers are required to identify risks to staff and implement appropriate control measures. In this case, if dermatitis could not be prevented, it should have been adequately managed with appropriate treatment and reporting to the HSE. There is a wealth of information on offer to employers to guide them in the management of this risk and it's important that cases of dermatitis are treated as a priority.

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