Occupational dermatosis in the construction and public works industry

The construction and public works industry includes many professions: masons, tilers, plumbers, painters, etc. Construction trades put your hands to the test and can lead to the appearance of an occupational dermatitis.



What are the occupational dermatoses in the construction and public works industry?

Eczema in the construction industry is very varied in its presentation and origin. Occupational eczema observed in the construction industry includes both irritative lesions, due to friction, cold, heat, humidity, solvents, detergents, etc. and allergic eczema lesions due to paint, glue, metal tools, etc. Occupational dermatoses in the construction industry mainly affect the hands because they are on the front line throughout the working day.

What are the products involved in occupational construction industry dermatoses?

The construction industry is very diversified and involves the handling of many irritating and/or allergenic products.

In the case of occupational dermatosis, it is essential to consult a dermato-allergist, who will "conduct the investigation" and determine which substances are involved. The occupational physician must also be notified; they are a key resource because of their extensive knowledge of professional environments.

In the case of allergic eczema, allergy tests carried out on construction and public works industry employees reveal allergies to chemicals contained in glues, cements, solvents, etc. Cement allergy mainly affects masons, while solvent allergy affects painters more often.

How can you avoid occupational construction industry dermatoses?

Prevention is essential to avoid the development of occupational eczema. Wearing gloves is recommended, as well as the application of an insulating barrier cream before and during work. After work, wash hands with soap and water rather than using aggressive solvents, especially if you are allergic to white spirit. In the evening, apply a soothing repair cream to the hands.

In some cases, occupational dermatosis is recognized as a genuine occupational disease. The employee cannot return to their position as it stands and must consider a career change that is compatible with their dermatosis.

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