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What to do if you have Industrial Dermatitis

Dermatitis is a skin infection that usually appears in the hand and then slowly spreads to the body if proper care is not taken. "Industrial dermatitis" is the name given to an inflammation of the skin caused by contact with chemicals or substances in the workplace. The types of jobs that can lead to a claim for industrial dermatitis as an industrial injury include, for example, florists, hair dressers and construction workers.

Basically, there are two types of dermatitis. These are-

Allergic contact dermatitis is caused by being exposed to a substance to which you have become hypersensitive or allergic. This type of dermatitis develops in stages. Once the skin is penetrated by the allergen, sensitisation will begin. At first there may be no sign of skin damage but, with repeated or prolonged exposure, symptoms will appear. Common allergens include nickel or other metals, latex, rubber and fragrances.

Irritant contact dermatitis is caused by the exposure to substances such as acids, alkalis, soaps, cement, cleansing agents, detergents, and solvents. These damage the skin causing redness and inflammation. Damaged skin may itch, crack and bleed. The condition can spread further all over the body if untreated, and if exposure continues. However, with preventative steps, the skin condition will usually settle.

Typically the condition is treated with steroidal creams and the use of soap substitutes or aqueous creams. Further protection against subsequent attacks of dermatitis can be achieved by wearing adequate protective equipment when in contact with potentially harmful substances.

Employers in the UK are required, under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, to protect their workers from any risk or injury that is reasonably foreseeable. Further regulations state that this legal duty of care extends to assessing risks that have the potential to cause Industrial Dermatitis and once a risk has been identified, employers must do their best to eliminate or minimise that risk. This could mean an employer using an alternative substance for cleaning, or providing adequate protection for their employees if continued use of the hazardous substance is necessary.

Compensation claims for industrial dermatitis are awarded to reflect the nature and severity of the illness you have. The courts will award money for the pain and suffering the illness has caused you and your claim for compensation will be based on this for all industrial diseases.

It is important to report your condition to your employer and seek medical advice immediately. If you suffer from any of the symptoms of occupational dermatitis, you should not hesitate to contact a team of specialist industrial disease solicitors. For more details kindly visit- http://www.jspsolicitors.co.uk/industrial_dermatitis#BodyHash


General Do It Yourself Safety

The home can be a highly dangerous area so every one doing diy needs to take some precaution and, more importantly, use common sense. The following are some basic principles for the do it yourself person.

Always keep safely in mind before you do any diy activity, use caution, care, and good judgement - if in doubt, don't.

Always read the labels on cans containing paints, solvents, and other products; and always follow the guidelines and any other warnings.

Always read the manufacturer's instructions (especially the warnings) before using any tool, especially power tools with cutting blades/bits.

Always pay deliberate attention to how a tool works, if you understand it's operation, you are less likely to cause injury.

Always know and accept the limitations of your tools - use the appropriate tool for the task. Do not try to use a tool for anything it is not designed to do.

Always remove the key from any drill chuck (hand or stand mounted) after you have removed/fitted a drill bit. Do not leave the key in the chuck even when the drill is switched off.

Always wear the appropriate protection for the job in hand. This may involve gloves, facemasks (to filter dust etc.) and/or eye protection.

Always keep your body (especially hands) away from the business ends of power tools using blades, cutters, and bits.

Always make sure that any tool adjustment is secured before using the tool - it is always better to double check an adjustment - e.g., always check the fence on a saw bench - this will avoid possible injury and scraped material.

Always be sure that the electrical supply is safe before using it; do not overload any circuit. Make sure all power tools, extension cables and electrical outlets are serviceable and undamaged. Do not use power tools in wet conditions.

Always check for possible cables/pipe work before drilling or cutting 'blind' into any wall or other surface. Take care when you cannot see the reverse side of what you are drilling or cutting.

Always use special care when using a saw bench; older benches may not have the latest safest features (blade guard, safety cut-out etc.). Avoid sawing short pieces if you can, as these can be hard to keep a firm grip of.

Always clamp small work pieces firmly to a bench or other work surface when using a power tool on them.

Always remember that things can go wrong very quickly and the body's reaction will not always be quick enough.

Always use both hands where a tool is designed to be used two handed.

Always ensure that the work area is adequately lit.

Always check your local building regulations before carrying out any new construction or major remodelling. The regulations are intended to avoid safety hazards and should be observed - they should not be considered obstructions to be circumvented.

Always check ladders and steps before use, make sure the rungs and sides are undamaged.

Always check the security of a ladder or set of steps before you start to climb.

Always be aware and alert!


Never wear loose clothing, hanging hair or jewellery when using power tools.

Never try to use a tool (especially a power tool) for any task it was not designed to do.

Never work with power tools when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs or are tired. If in doubt - don't. Any of these factors can impair judgement of your ability, your physical state and general safety aspects - if always better to delay a job than risk serious injury.

Never use a power tool which is damaged in any way (case, switch or cable etc.). If it starts to make an odd noise or emit smells - stop and investigate.

Never cut small, loose pieces of wood, metal or other material using a power tool - small off-cuts which you cannot hold or secure, will tend to fly off with potential for injury.

Never change a drill bit, router cutter or saw blade or make any adjustment to a cutting power tool - until the power cable has been unplugged. Do not rely only upon the switch on the tool or outlet.

Never use power tools if you are at risk of overbalancing, reposition any ladder, scaffold etc. to make the job comfortable.

Never work with blunt tools (saws, drill bits, cutters etc.). Sharpen the tools yourself, have them sharpened, or throw them away and use a new tool.

Never use a power tool on a work piece which is not firmly secured.

Never drill or cut 'blind' into a surface before checking the possible location of electrical cables or pipe work.

Never saw a large work piece unless it is well supported both sides of the cut or there is someone else to support the off-cut.

Never saw a work piece supported on any part of your body (or anyone else's body!).

Never carry sharp tools in your pocket. If you want to carry such tools, use a special- purpose tool belt.

Never overreach when working on a ladder or steps, always get someone to re-position the ladder at the bottom whilst you are not on it.


Using A Home Fire Safety Code For Fire Prevention

Most individuals have learned a fire safety drill at some time during their lives. Kids learn it in school and adults learn it at work, yet how many individuals put it into practice it at home? If it is worth practicing a fire safety code at work, it must be worth implementing one at home as well.

You could adapt and adopt the fire safety code from school for your home use, and just like in school, you will have to make sure that everybody in your household knows and knows your fire safety code. Adopting a home fire safety code will hugely increase your family's likelihood of surviving a home fire.

The specialists at the fire station are called Fire Prevention Officers. Fire prevention officers frequently give talks on fire prevention techniques at schools, work places and seminars. It is also frequently possible to have a one-on-one interview with a fire prevention officer and they will also visit you in your home for more specific advice in some areas.

The chief fire prevention officer has to train new recruits and schedule public buildings for check ups depending on their location, age and usage. You could use the same criteria to assess the risks in your own home.

For example, older houses tend to have more timber in them and smaller windows which means that it might catch fire more easily, it might burn faster and it may be more difficult to escape from because of the smaller windows, which might even be jammed.

Only to give you an concept of what a building's fire code can be like, I will give some instances below. You can apply some of these concepts to the 'fire code' for your home, depending on what type of building you occupy.

Firstly, buildings in many countries have maximum occupancy numbers for each residential building, especially for commercially rented buildings. You may not just keep partitioning rooms in order to cram in more occupants (and get more rent). This maximum is a strict law and must be adhered to.

If you live in or rent out a commercial property, then all exits ought to be clearly marked with lit signs which can be seen through smoke. They also have to have a battery back-up in case the cables are burned through. These buildings also have to have a particular number of fire extinguishers and there may even have to be several different sorts, eg: water hoses, sand buckets, fire blankets and regular extinguishers.

There also have to be smoke detectors and a building-wide fire alarm system. Ensure that flammable supplies are stored in a safe location and that fire drills are carried out regularly. Everybody must know their muster spot and which doors should be closed and which ones left open.

Many of the suggestions above are true laws for commercial and some residential buildings, so if you do not want to fall foul of the law, be sure you know your obligations.


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