Saf Health Work.  2014 Dec;5(4):175-180. 10.1016/

Wet-work Exposure: A Main Risk Factor for Occupational Hand Dermatitis

  • 1Department of Occupational Hygiene, School of Paramedicine and Public Health, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran.
  • 2Centre for Ergonomics and Human Factors, Public Health and Human Biosciences, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.
  • 3Monash Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health (MonCOEH), School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.


Wet-work can be defined as activities where workers have to immerse their hands in liquids for >2 hours per shift, or wear waterproof (occlusive) gloves for a corresponding amount of time, or wash their hands >20 times per shift. This review considers the recent literature on wet-work exposure, and examines wet-work as a main risk factor for developing irritant contact dermatitis of the hands. The aim of this paper is to provide a detailed description of wet-work exposure among specific occupational groups who extensively deal with water and other liquids in their occupations. Furthermore, it highlights the extent and importance of the subsequent adverse health effects caused by exposure to wet-work.


hand eczema; irritants; skin barrier; wet-work
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