Working Group 3 will coordinate the set up of randomised controlled intervention studies in various high risk professions. So far, only limited scientific data is available from studies carried out in European coutries where preventive OSD initiatives in selected settings and occupations have successfully been implemented. In general, however, the effectiveness of preventive efforts is poorly validated. Moreover, accepted standards to objectify the effectiveness of gloves, protective creams, after-work emollients, skin cleansers and personal protective equipment are missing. Furthermore, it will be of interest if interventions can minimize the amount of allergens or other hazardous substances deposited on the skin.
Long-term multi-centre trials are needed to evaluate links between outcomes and prevention as well as cost-effectiveness. These studies will be designed to detect whether targeted intervention can reduce the risk of contact dermatitis even in highly susceptible individuals and/or the incidence of work related allergic contact sensitisation.

The subgroup UV-induced skin cancer will focus on the prevention of occupational skin cancer as this has been a neglected issue over the past decades.  

The main approaches of this WG will be:

  • Controlled intervention studies in various high risk professions (e.g. health care, metal industry, hairdressing, food processing, construction, agriculture) employing both already existing national approaches towards OSD (e.g. national prevention programmes) and the standards developed by WG 2 to assess the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of prevention strategies.
  • Experimental studies in human volunteers to develop standardised methods in order to objectify the effectiveness of gloves, protective creams, emollients, skin cleansers and other personal protective equipment as well as to quantify hazardous substances deposited on the skin. 

The expected outcomes are:

Evidence for feasible and cost-effective diagnostics, treatment and prevention measures in OSD as a basis for decisions on national prevention strategies and legislation.