Occupational skin surveillance (EPIDERM)

The EPIDERM scheme funded by the Health and Safety Executive has been collecting reports of cases of occupational skin disease from consultant dermatologists since 1993. The scheme has produced valuable information on the incidence of occupational skin disease, and on the agents responsible for this.

There are about 2000 new cases of work-related skin disease per year - the majority of these will be dermatitis cases caused or made worse by work. The most common causes of occupational dermatitis are soaps and cleaners, wet work, and rubber chemicals and materials.

Currently, around 150 consultant dermatologists report to EPIDERM. About 20 of these are core reporters who report every month; the remainder are sample reporters who are sampled at random and report for one month only each year. The major category of cases reported consists of contact dermatitis, followed by neoplasia (cancers).

The aim of the scheme is to determine the extent of occupational skin disease in UK industry and therefore to take steps to reduce the incidence of occupational disease and to monitor changes.

Relevant publications

Reporting to EPIDERM

Details of how to report and methods of reporting to EPIDERM:

Being a reporter to EPIDERM

Personal views from consultant dermatologists on reporting to EPIDERM:

Database information sheet

Further information for patients requesting details on THOR, see: THOR database information sheet (PDF, 110 KB)

EPIDERM project assistant

The project assistant responsible for this scheme is Laura Byrne:
+44(0)161 275 7103