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Create your own skin disease posters with WSPS' online poster designer

Jul 14, 2015

skin diseaseA new interactive online program on WSPS' website allows workplaces to customize and download up to seven different posters on occupational skin disease, including dermatitis. Each poster combines a photo of a recognizable workplace situation with action-oriented prevention practices written in simple language. You can print the standard letter-sized posters as is, or adapt them to suit specific needs.

Dermatitis is the most prevalent form of occupational skin disease, often appearing as a rash and dry, cracked skin. In addition to causing significant pain and discomfort, dermatitis can be debilitating, limiting the ability to work and compromising quality of life. Early recognition and treatment can make all the difference.

5 ways to maximize the posters' value in your workplace

Mounting visually engaging and informative posters on preventing skin disease will extend the reach of your prevention efforts and create new opportunities to reach workers at risk. But that's not all they can do. Here's what Dr. Linn Holness, director of the Centre for Research Expertise in Occupational Disease (CREOD), suggests:

  1. Use the posters as a reinforcement tool. Just confirming that workers have read and understood them draws attention to the safety messages and the value you place on prevention. Test their understanding with questions, and then encourage them to ask questions of their own.
  2. Use the posters as a starting point for one-on-one and group conversations on practical ways to minimize the risk of skin disease.
  3. Integrate the posters into orientation, ongoing awareness and hazard-specific training. The posters provide general principles, so use this as a starting point for training and awareness on specific hazards that could cause skin disease.
  4. Place the posters in high visibility areas where workers have time to look at them, such as lunchrooms and washrooms.
  5. Rotate the posters so the messages remain fresh.

The research behind the results

The posters incorporate best practices gathered from research conducted by CREOD and WSPS in company with several industry partners and workers with dermatitis. The research team surveyed almost 100 workers and asked for their feedback on how effectively various posters raised awareness and promoted healthy skin practices. Among the results:

  • negative outcomes of occupational skin disease were most effective at capturing workers’ attention
  • workers also responded best to messages that were relevant to their specific workplace and industry

These posters are part of a multi-year initiative by CREOD to raise awareness of exposure risks and develop evidence-based prevention products and tools. One outcome is a Skin Health at Work toolbox, now under development with other partners in Ontario’s prevention system. Existing and planned tools include:

  • the posters and poster designer tool
  • an e-learning module
  • fact sheets
  • a visual guide to help workers identify skin problems
  • a plain-language synthesis of CREOD's research on skin disease

Find out more about the toolbox by visiting CREOD.

How WSPS can help