Promoting workers’ health in smalland medium-sized enterprises: Designing and evaluating a concept for preventing occupational skin diseases

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksChapterpeer-review


This chapter describes the development and evaluation of a concept for trainings in skin-care tailored to the specific needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in rural regions. It covers SME in industries in which employees work in wet or damp environments or are exposed to strong chemical or allergenic substances or both; these risk factors frequently lead to work-related skin problems. Florists, outpatient and inpatient care providers, hairdressers, bakers, and metalworkers were recruited to our study. Overall, 72 SMEs participated. The first research step was to explore company owners’ expectations of the training and the requirements particular to their organizations. Trainings on skincare were developed and tailored to the specific needs of the SMEs and surveyed industries. For evaluation purposes a randomized controlled trial was conducted in which the effectiveness of the trainings was quantitatively assessed by employees of the participating SMEs completing three waves of written surveys. A significant reduction in skin-related symptoms, a positive effect on skin-care and cleaning, and a significant positive effect on participants’ knowledge in the area of occupational skin protection were found. However, the dermatological training did not have a positive effect on the participants’ satisfaction with their work. The average cost of the intervention per participant was approximately 63.50 €; foregone working time not included.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealthy at Work : Interdisciplinary Perspectives
EditorsMarkus Wiencke, Mirella Cacace, Sebastian Fischer
Number of pages19
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Publication date01.01.2016
ISBN (Print)9783319323299
ISBN (Electronic)9783319323312
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2016

    Research areas

  • Dermatological problem, Human resource cost, Occupational skin disease, Protective glove, Skin protection
  • Health sciences