Premises and Facilities Management: The health of your hands

Big Wipes industrial strength wipes can look after your hands and be a part of your overall health and safety strategy when it comes to Premises and Facilities Management.

Health and Safety

According to the latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures available, there are over 35,000 cases of work-related skin diseases diagnosed by GPs every year in the UK.  Due to the rise in the use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) in the early 2000s, reported work related skin diseases fell. Since 2005 however, this trend has stalled and the HSE has expressed its concern, believing the true figure could be higher and that many cases remain unreported.

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For many Premises and Facilities Management professionals and their subcontractors, hands are their livelihood and so cleaning them effectively while still being able to care for them is extremely important. Speedy removal of irritants is essential as skin disease on the hands can be debilitating and has serious implications when trying to continue with work.

Your skin is your body’s largest organ and is its protective barrier.  However, if harmful substances accumulate on your skin, that barrier can be broken and leave hands sore and inflamed and with the potential to cause long-term health issues.  Skin disease can be incapacitating for the sufferer, meaning that work becomes difficult and livelihoods put in jeopardy.

Skin Disease

There are common signs of skin problems to look for on your hands such as dryness, redness, cracking or swelling of the hands and fingers as well as blisters, flaking and itching.  Workers can develop these symptoms as they come into direct contact with substances commonly used on site.  If you are immersing your hands in liquids, or getting them splashed on a regular basis then your hands may suffer.  Contact with contaminated tools or surfaces can also lead to harmful substances landing on the skin, causing a problem.

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The HSE advises workers to use the ‘APC’ approach when it comes to looking after your hands, which stands for Avoid, Protect and Check.  Logically therefore, you should avoid direct contact between unprotected hands and substances, products and wet work where this is sensible and practical.  You should also protect the skin as avoiding contact will not always be possible, and check your hands for the first signs of itchy, dry or red skin.

For some people, gloves might be the answer.  But for many jobs, gloves are simply not suitable, and for some installers, the gloves themselves can cause problems.  For those times when gloves cannot be used, again quick removal of the irritants is the only solution.

Big Wipes Formula

Big Wipes, who specialise in industrial strength trade wipes, manufacture formulas which are preservative free and mainly water-based.  In addition to four powerful cleaning agents, Big Wipes 4×4  contain four dermatologically tested skin conditioners: Aloe Vera, Lanolin, Vitamin E and Glycerine ‐ all helping to nourish and protect the skin.

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The Big Wipes 4×4 range has been assessed to the latest EU Regulation 1223/2009 for cosmetic products with zero levels of irritation recorded during controlled testing by dermatologists.  The range also offers >99.9% antibacterial protection for your skin.  All Big Wipes are used without water and thus are perfect for on-site use where water isn’t available.

Individuals who are concerned they may have a skin problem should always visit their GP for advice and treatment if needed.  But, as the HSE advises, protection is an important step to preventing problems from occurring.  Therefore wipes might well be the answer to protecting the most important tools of all – your hands.

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This article appeared in Premises and Facilities Management (PFM) Mag in May 2016