Skin diseases or disorders are illnesses involving the worker's skin that are caused by work exposure to chemicals, plants or other substances. Examples include: contact dermatitis, eczema, or rash caused by primary irritants and sensitizers or poisonous plants; oil acne; friction blisters, chrome ulcers; and inflammation of the skin. The SOII is a cooperative Federal–State program in which employer reports of occupational injuries and illnesses based on OSHA recordkeeping rules are collected from a nationally representative sample of private industry establishments.
For the first time in 2008, the SOII provided national public sector estimates covering nearly 19 million state and local government workers. The survey excludes the self-employed, farms with fewer than 11 employees, private household workers, and employees in Federal government agencies.
The incidence rates represent the number of illnesses per 10,000 full-time workers and were calculated as: (N/EH) x 20,000,000, where N= number of illnesses, EH=total hours worked by all employees during the calendar year, and 20,000,000=base for 10,000 equivalent full-time workers (working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year. Information on the type of industry for the numerator is based on employer responses and converted to North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes.
Although reported occupational skin diseases or disorders (OSDs) have been reduced by approximately 50% over the last 10 years, they still represent one of the most frequently reported classes of occupational illnesses. OSDs occur in all industries and were the second leading cause of occupational illness in 2008.