Vol. 1, Issue 16 (Jun 02) Sun Protection

If you are a manager, employ people or are responsible for staff who work outside or whose work keeps them outside for most of the day, you need to consider sun protection.

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause skin damage-sunburn, ageing of the skin & blistering.

Longer term exposure can lead to skin cancers.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer with over 40,000 new cases detected every year.

Ultraviolet radiation should be considered an occupational hazard for individuals who work outside.

Persons at Risk

Individuals with pale skin, especially those with fair or red hair, with a lot of freckles or with a family history of skin cancers.

Individuals with black of brown skin colour are in a lower risk group. However, all individuals can suffer from the effects of dehydration and overheating.

Encourage all to keep covered-particularly at lunchtime when the sun it hottest. Use long sleeve shirts, a hat with a brim or flap that protects the exposed ears and neck.

Encourage the application and use of suitable sunscreen on any exposed parts of the body. Take breaks in the shade and stay out of the direct sun light if possible.

Consider scheduling work routines and work patterns, to reduce exposures.

Locate rest areas and water points in shady areas.

Encourage everyone to drink plenty of water, not alcoholic drinks.

Encourage everyone to check their own skin regularly, for unusual spots or moles that change shape and / or size. To seek medical advice if they find something or concern.

Benefits to the employer include:-

  • Fewer absence days through sunburn.
  • Healthier and better informed workforce.
  • Reduced risk to employees of possible skin cancer from long term exposure.
Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 news