Dermatitis in the services sector: understanding the issues – a pilot project

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Title Dermatitis in the services sector: understanding the issues – a pilot project
Year 2007 – 2008
Investigators Elizabeth Mills, B Burns, Sandra Miller, Linn Holness, Irena Kudla, Janet Brown
CREOD Research Program Occupational Skin Disease
Research Theme Prevention
Funder CREOD
Product Type Pilot project
Background Work-related contact dermatitis (WRCD) is common, especially among workers involved in wet work (e.g. dishwashers, cleaners, mechanics, hairdressers).
Study Focus (Research Question/Goals/
Methods)
We were interested in gauging the level of awareness of WRCD in the services sector, and identifying the key issues related to WRCD prevention. We conducted focus groups and electronic surveys of 37 Ontario Services Safety Alliance (OSSA) staff, and 39 OSSA Advisory Committee members.
Key Findings
  • While 92% of the OSSA staff thought WRCD was a problem in the sector, only 21% of Advisory Cte members thought WRCD was a problem.
  • Level of knowledge about occupational skin disease was rated as “low” by the majority of both OSSA and Advisory Committee members.
  • Key barriers to awareness and prevention were:
    • Lack of knowledge
    • Not a priority (few claims)
    • Lack of training materials and tools
    • Cost of programs (time and money)
    • Lack of management support
    • Culture within the workplace
    • Variation among the sectors
Implications for Health/Labour Policy and Practice A stronger focus on building awareness in the workplace about WRCD may be needed.
Publication  & Presentation Information Publications

  • Holness DL, Kudla I, Brown J, Mills E, Miller S. Raising awareness for dermatitis in the services sector: slow steps to prevention.  Dermatitis 2011;22:229.

Presentations

  • Mills E, Burns B, Miller S, Holness DL, Kudla I, Brown J.  Dermatitis in the service sector: understanding the issues – a pilot project.  Health and Safety Canada 2007, Toronto, April 2007.
  • Holness DL, Kudla I, Brown J, Mills E, Burns B, Miller S. Awareness of dermatitis in the services sector – a first step to prevention? OEESC 2009, Edinburgh, June 2009.
  • Holness DL.  Raising  awareness of occupational skin disease.  World Health Organization Workshop on Occupational Skin Disease, Geneva, February 2011.
  • Holness DL, Kudla I, Brown J, Mills E, Miller S. Raising awareness for dermatitis in the services sector: slow steps to prevention.  OEESC 2011, Toronto, June 2011.