A new OSHA document, “Preventing Skin Problems from Working with Portland Cement,” aims to educate employers and employees about effective ways to prevent skin-related injuries in the cement and concrete industries
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Washington, D.C.
A new OSHA document, “Preventing Skin Problems from Working with Portland Cement,” aims to educate employers and employees about effective ways to prevent skin-related injuries in the cement and concrete industries. “Those who work with portland cement are at risk of developing skin problems, and OSHA is committed to providing information that will help employers keep employees safe from cement-related skin problems,” explains Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin Foulke Jr.
Wet portland cement, the agency contends, can damage the skin because it is caustic, abrasive, absorbs moisture, and contains trace amounts of hexavalent chromium, a toxin harmful to the skin. The product is estimated to account for 25 percent or more of all work-related skin problems, while occupational skin disease is estimated to account for 10-15 percent of all work-related diseases.
The new guidance addresses ways to prevent or minimize skin problems through the proper selection and use of gloves, boots and other personal protective equipment, including kneepads; skin care and work practices such as use of pH neutral or slightly acidic soaps; and, ways of making cement products less hazardous. OSHA estimates that there are more than one million employees that work with either portland cement or concrete.