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  • What Holiday Is Today?

    Other than the "Obvious" one....

    Health & Safety Best Practices

    SKIN PROTECTION - An Athlete’s Guide

    October 31, 2006

    What do marathon runners and healthcare workers have in common? How about football players and truck drivers? Hint: It has to do with something we observe in November. And it's not Thanksgiving.

    Give up? November is National Healthy Skin Month in the United States. To help you bring home the "fluffy" topic of skin care to your workers, this article offers an athlete's approach.

    Skin Health & Athletic Performance

    Everybody knows that athletes must be in tip top physical health to succeed. But there's more to it than just bones and muscles. Skin health is also an important factor in athletic performance. We've all heard about strains, tears, sprains and fractures. But what about allergic reactions to earplugs or goggles? Or skin problems like acne mechanica or fungal infections from skin-to-skin contact? Yes, these things do happen. And while they don't get as much attention as other forms of injury, these topical problems can be just as damaging to an athlete's career.

    What it means is that even the best conditioned athletes need to baby their skin. And what's true of athletes applies equally to your own workers. No matter what industry you're in, you should teach your workers about the need to care for their skin and help them do so by emulating the lessons of the athlete's skin care regimen. Here are three common skin ailments that can harm the athlete and the worker and how to guard against them.

    1. Blisters

    Blisters can trip-up the most dedicated of marathon runners or slam dunk the most agile of basketball players. They're a problem in the workplace, too. Although not officially considered an occupational injury, some surveys suggest that two-thirds of workers have foot problems. And anything that causes discomfort is bound to make a worker less alert and thus more prone to accident.

    Causes:
    Heat
    Moisture
    Shoes that don't fit
    Movement that creates friction on the skin
    Athlete's Tips:
    Lubricate feet, hands and other blister-prone areas with petroleum jelly and lotions

    Keep feet, hands, etc. dry and cool with antiperspirants and drying powders
    Decrease friction by wearing shoes and gloves that fit, clean moisture-absorbing synthetic socks and socks that fit and aren't wrinkled

    2. Acne Mechanica

    Skin that is exposed to heat or that experiences constant friction or pressure may develop acne mechanica, a form of acne. Football players may develop acne mechanica from their shoulder pads; truck drivers may develop it on their backs.

    Causes:

    Acne mechanica may develop on skin covered by:

    Helmets
    Tight uniforms
    Headbands
    Belts or straps
    Face masks
    Athlete's Tips:
    Wear moisture-absorbing clothing beneath gear
    Shower immediately after removing gear

    3. Allergic Contact Dermatitis

    A condition officially known as allergic contact dermatitis afflicts athletes and workers in many industries. It's marked by red, itchy blister patches on the skin produced as the result of contact with an allergenic substance. Over time, the substance wears down the skin's protective outer layer, making its way to the natural skin proteins. When the immune system responds, it releases a chemical that causes itching, pain, redness, swelling and blisters. Some swimmers experience contact dermatitis in reaction to the rubber components of earplugs, bathing caps or goggles. It's also fairly common among coal miners, agriculture workers and healthcare workers.

    Causes:
    Hot workplaces
    Dry air
    Friction on the skin
    Substances such as acids, alkalis, mineral oils, solvents, bleaches, glues, pollen, wood dusts, nickel, some types of vegetables and fruits and even antibiotics
    Athlete's Tips:
    Avoid contact with the allergen (determined by a patch test)
    Apply ice or soak it in cold water
    Apply anti-itch lotion or spray
    Keep affected area clean, but avoid harsh soaps and detergents and harsh scrubbers, such as pumice, that may dry out the skin
    Dry skin completely with clean paper towels or hot air dryers and replenish your skin's oils with a good hand cream
    Change into clean clothes at the end of the workout – or work

    Conclusion

    Smart athletes understand the health risks of their sport and the protections and procedures necessary to guard against it. This includes not just injury to bone and muscle but also skin. Your workers would do well to take a page out of the athlete's book. And you should help them do so.

    First you need to educate workers about the importance of skin protection. Then you need to make them aware of the various things they can do to protect themselves such as reading the material safety data sheets for products they handle and by wearing appropriate gloves, aprons, footwear, leggings, face shields and coveralls when working with irritants. Last but not least, you need to teach them to recognize and immediately report any signs of skin irritation.

    THE SKINNY ON DERMA
    Did you know?

    Some dermatologists treat warts with duct tape
    Psoriasis — a non-contagious chronic skin disease — can be triggered by stress

    Your skin is your body’s largest organ


    Now you know.

    -------------

    Health & Safety Best Practices

    HALLOWEEN SAFETY SPECIAL - Grading the Monsters

    Today is Halloween. So SafetyXChange thought it would be appropriate to consider some of the most beloved movie monsters and evaluate them from the perspective of safety. What we found was less than pretty:

    FRANKENSTEIN

    Dr. Frankenstein's lab is a safety nightmare. Sources of electricity aren't properly grounded. There are open test tubes lying around containing lord-knows-what chemicals. People walk around with open torches. Appalling.

    Grade: F

    DRACULA

    Another safety disaster. That coffin he spends half his life in is a confined space. But does he conduct sampling of the air or use proper gauges? No. Not only that. He's all alone. So if he needs help, who's going to hear his cries and rescue him? Then, when he does come out at night, he walks around the streets in dark clothing without a flashlight or reflective vest. His fangs are also sharps and a likely source of infection.

    Grade: F

    WOLFMAN

    He also has fangs issues. Moreover, his long hair can get entangled in the moving parts of machinery. But he does at least have a warning device to warn of his approach: His howl.

    Grade: D

    JASON (From Friday the 13th)

    The bad news: He handles chainsaws, machetes and other dangerous tools like they're toys, and doesn't wear protective gloves. The good news: He does employ proper face protection.

    Grade: C

    *****

    Have a safe and happy Halloween, everybody.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  • #2
    look out

    Now you have opened the door to spammers who will be trying to sell us all kinds of skin care and beauty products.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by MalahatTwo7

      Your skin is your body’s largest organ
      Now you know.
      I wouldn't touch that statement with a long pole.
      Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
      Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

      *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
      On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by NJFFSA16
        I wouldn't touch that statement with a long pole.

        NJ, would that be a 39 and a 1/2 foot pole by chance? LOL
        If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

        "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

        "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

        Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

        impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

        IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

        Comment

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