Weekly Tool Box Talk –Cement Safety

Cement is a major cause of skin irritation for construction workers.  The more lime the cement contains, the more irritating the cement is to the skin.   Adding water to cement generates heat, therefore, increasing the possibility of burning your skin upon contact.When cement comes into contact with skin, the skin becomes hard, dry and thickened.  The skin is then likely to crack.  The nails will also become dry and brittle.  Cement can also cause inflammation of the eyelids.Factors that can contribute to the development of dermatitis include:Excessive sweating – workers who perspire freely are more likely to develop cement dermatitis, first on the exposed parts of the body, and then on the covered parts.  Lack of cleanlinessPre-existing dermatitis or allergyProper personal hygiene is the most important defense in the prevention of dermatitis.  Workers should know the proper preventive measures.  This would include showers after each shift, and changing of work clothes daily.  During work, a lanolin-based soap should be used for washing.  Lanolin should be applied to exposed arms before putting on gloves.  Refer to the MSDS to ensure the gloves you are using are providing enough protection.If any employee develops dermatitis, the proper medical care should be taken. If necessary, remove the employee from the work area until their condition improves