Save Your Skin

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CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training

Summary Statement

A handout with illustrations discussing precautions to protect your hands, including items such as how to wash, how to remove gloves and what soap to use. Part of a collection. Click on the 'collection' button to access the other items.

Not so fast! Did you clean your hands first?
Your hands might be contaminated.
Putting gloves on over these contaminants traps them against your skin.
That can lead to irritation and dermatitis.
Always wash with a pH-neutral or slightly acidic soap or cleaner.

Ask your pharmacist to recommend one.

At work, a buffering or neutralizing spray may reduce surface skin pH.

Avoid sensitizers, like lanolin and limonene.

If you must use lanolin or limonene, apply it at home after you have thoroughly cleaned your skin.
If you can’t leave your work clothes at work, take them home in a separate container.

Trash bag work great!
Wash your work clothes separately to protect your family.
Clean reusable gloves daily. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Store them away from tools and materials in a cool, dark, dry place.
To remove disposable gloves, peel back from the top, turning them inside out.

Discard them at the jobsite each day.
Don’t wear watches, rings or other jewelry while you work.
So, wash your hands first.

Use a pH-neutral or slightly acidic soap.

Clean the nail beds, too.
Dry your hands thoroughly with a clean towel or wipe.
While you’re at it, why not wear a light-weight cotton glove liner to keep your hands dry and comfortable.
If you remove your gloves during work, wash again with clean water and soap, or you may carry contaminants into your gloves.

If you have no clean water, try carrying a clean damp wash cloth or disposable towelettes.

Before removing your gloves, always clean off the outsides.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
To remove gloves, loosen them on both hands. Hold hands down so contaminated water will not drip onto skin or clothing.
Keeping gloves down, remove the first glove only to the fingers.

The cuff of the glove will remain over your palm.
Now, grabbing the second glove with the first glove, remove the second glove.
The first glove should slip off.

Try to handle gloves by the insides only.

Don’t touch the outsides.
If you get a persistent skin problem, even a minor one, see a physician. Be sure to tell your doctor that you work with wet portland cement.

Remember, your hands are your living. Protect them. They will last your lifetime.