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The Sun: A Hazard for Outdoor Workers

Posted: June 12th, 2019

Laborers who spend a lot of their workday outside are at a greater risk for skin cancer. Those who have a higher risk of UV damage from the sun include lifeguards, farmers, construction workers, gardeners, landscapers, road department crews, and other outdoor workers. The danger of skin cancer in this field of work has often been ignored because the risk of accidental death and job site injury have taken more immediate prevalence. The following are safety guidelines for outdoor laborers to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful UV rays:• If possible move outdoor jobs to shady spots or inside. Using a temporary shelter, building or trees can help safeguard against UV damage. • Seek a shady location for lunch or shorter breaks.• Whenever possible avoid scheduling outdoor work betweenthe hours of 10 am and 4 pm when UV exposure is the greatest.• Cover the skin with protective clothing, preferably long sleeve and tightly woven shirts, pants or skirts. • Use a water-resistant sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher, and one with broad spectrum protection. Always apply before going outdoors and reapply every two hours especially if sweating. • Wear hats, sunglasses, and a collar to protect even more areas. Hats shield the face, neck and ears from the sun. Wide-brimmed hats with at least a brim of 3 inches wide are recommended. • Use safety glasses or sunglasses that screen out 100% UV rays and with side panels to prevent extreme sun exposure to the eyes. • UV Radiation will bounce off water, sand, concrete, light-colored surfaces and snow. Be extra careful when working near these locations. • Make sure all areas of exposed skin are protected especially face, lips, neck, arms and hands. 

If your job requires you to be outside, choose to be Sun-Smart!