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Occupational Skin Disease (OSD) Awareness: Prevention Posters and Web-Application

Washing hands

Occupational skin disease (OSD) represents 8.5% of all occupational disease claims to WSIB 1. Dermatitis is the most prevalent form, with 1,200 to 1,500 claims in Ontario annually, but it is believed that less than half of the cases are reported. Occupational dermatitis (OD) is often characterized by a rash and dry, cracked skin. It can cause significant pain, discomfort, and can be debilitating, limiting the ability to work and the quality of life.

OSD is generally caused by prolonged and frequent skin contact with a range of chemicals commonly found in a workplace such as metalworking fluids, detergents, paints, beauty, products, resins, cleaning products, and other chemical agents. Workers in occupations where those hazards are present are at a greater risk.

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) and the Centre for Research Expertise in Occupation Disease (CREOD) in partnership with several industry partners, engaged in a research project to investigate whether workplace posters could help raise awareness of OSD and potentially influence worker and employer behaviour in order to reduce the incidence of this preventable and common work-related disease.

Based on the worker feedback gathered during the research project, it was evident that workers respond best to messaging that is relevant to their workplace, industry and themselves. For this reason, WSPS in collaboration with CREOD, launched a new online tool that allows workers and employers to customize a series of seven OSD awareness poster templates and then download the posters directly from the website. Each poster in the series promotes an occupational health and safety prevention practice.

There is no additional cost for downloading the resources. You will be offered an image library that can be used for building your poster, which will allow users to place the images into the poster template and then download a printable PDF. The posters are sized using standard page sizes so you can print right from your own computer. You could have effective posters in your workplace in a matter of minutes, making your employees aware of the risk of OSD and informing them of what they can do to prevent the disease.

1 By the Numbers: 2012 WSIB Statistical Report