Ensuring that employees avoid having allergic reactions at work is vital to maintaining a secure and safe environment. It is extremely important to be aware of the severe allergies that your employees can experience within the workplace and to have an understanding of the best ways to prevent and deal with allergens when they arise.
What Severe Allergies Can Employees Experience In The Workplace?
There are a number of severe allergies that people can experience within the workplace, but two of the most common are contact dermatitis and anaphylaxis.
Contact dermatitis is a skin condition that occurs when the skin has become irritated.
How to identify it: Contact dermatitis is identifiable by redness, swelling, and weeping of the skin and symptoms include itching and pain.
What causes it: Contact dermatitis can be caused by a variety of substances, including adhesives, plants, wood dust, printing inks that have been UV cured and some hair dyes.
Anaphylaxis is a severe reaction that can occur within seconds or minutes of someone being exposed to a substance they’re allergic to.
How to identify it: Anaphylaxis is identifiable by a swollen tongue, falling unconscious or having difficulty breathing after being exposed to a substance.
What causes it: Anaphylaxis can be caused by a number of triggers, including nuts, milk, eggs, grass and pollen, latex, insect stings and medications (including ibuprofen, aspirin and certain antibiotics).
How To Assess The Risks In Your Workplace
It is important for employers to take appropriate precautions to protect their employees within the workplace and prevent any severe allergic reactions. Below are some precautions that employers can take to protect their employees:
The consistent use of gloves
Enforcing the wearing of gloves in communal areas and when handling food or chemical substances is a must to prevent germs from spreading and contact dermatitis from occurring. Gloves can also be useful in preventing anaphylaxis by reducing someone’s chances of coming into contact with an allergic substance.
Immediate hand washing after contamination
Make sure all staff know to wash their hands after coming into contact with a contaminated surface or material. Not only will this prevent their own reaction, but it prevents them from spreading the allergen to someone else.
Allergy awareness training for employees
It is important that employees are aware of their role in preventing allergic reactions, which is why allergy awareness training will be extremely beneficial so that employees can prevent allergic reactions or identify them before they occur.
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