Sun Protection Tips For Outdoor Workers
Why is Sun Protection Important?
Sun protection is very important if you are someone who works outside regularly. As an outdoor worker, you are exposing yourself to more sun. Having a tan is a sign that shows your skin has been damaged because of sun exposure.
Do you know how to reduce health risks when working outdoors in the sun?
Take a look below at some Sun Protection Tips…
Choose the Right Sunscreen
Make sure you wear sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15 and reapply at least every two hours.
When choosing sunscreen you need to check the bottle before purchasing. If you choose a sun protection factor (SPF) any lower than 15; you will not be protected from UVB. Another clue is the letters “UVA” in a logo with at least four stars beneath it on the bottle. Also, check the expiry date on the sunscreen before applying to make sure it hasn’t past its shelf life.
Applying Sunscreen Properly
When applying sunscreen make sure you that apply enough. If you are in shorts and you need to cover your whole body, apply around two tablespoons of sunscreen. If you are just covering your arms, neck and face, two teaspoons should be enough. You can always apply more if you feel that it isn’t working effectively. Don’t forget those easily missed spots such as the ears, nose and toes.
You should apply sunscreen around 30 minutes before going out in the sun and that you should reapply regularly. Make sure you consider reapplying after being in the water, sweating or towel drying.
Take Regular Breaks From the Sun
Take breaks in the shade when possible instead of staying in the sun. The sun’s rays are most intense between 10:00 AM and 16:00 PM, so if possible, try to plan your workload around these times.
For those who enjoy sunbathing, you need also think about spending time in the shade. Between 11 am and 3 pm in the spring and summer the sun is at its most powerful. That is the time when you need to think about taking shelter to avoid burning.
Wear the Right Clothing
As much as you want to get a nice tan when the sun is shining you need to also think about protecting yourself. Take a look below at the clothing you should consider when catching the rays to increase sun protection:
- Sunglasses – you don’t just wear them to keep the sun out of your eyes; sunglasses protect your eyes from burning. It doesn’t mean you can stare directly at the sun just because you have sunglasses on; this could lead to permanent damage to the eyes.
- Wide-brimmed hats that cover the ears, neck and shoulders as well as your face.
- Long-sleeved tops.
- Wear trousers rather than shorts.
- Long skirts.
Check your Skin for Skin Cancer
Make sure to check your skin regularly for any unusual spots or moles. If you do come across something that is changing in size or colour and has started to itch or bleed, see your doctor as soon as possible.
The sun and skin cancer should not be taken lightly; some people are more at risk than others and need to take extra care. Those who tend to burn rather than tan, such as people with pale skin or are rarely in the intense sun need to be careful. Also, those who have a lot of moles and freckles have a higher risk of getting skin cancer. If you fall under those categories you need to keep an eye on your body after being exposed to sunlight.
It is much easier to treat skin cancer when it is spotted early.
What are the effects of too much sun exposure?
- Sun damage to your eyes – ultraviolet light from the sun can damage the retina which is the back of the eye.
- Heat exhaustion – this can be caused by excessive sweating which is likely to occur if you are an outdoor worker.
- Sunburn – too much sun exposure will cause sunburn and its symptoms will only usually appear around four or five hours after.
- Wrinkles – ultraviolet light damages elastic tissue and collagen in the skin which will cause this.
- Skin cancer – this is the worst effect of long term sun exposure. The older you are, the greater risk you are at of developing it, as sun damage to the skin will develop over the years.
Construction Safety Hazards in Summer
Construction workers can face many safety hazards in summer.
There are a number of safety hazards that can occur when you are a construction worker in the hot summer months.
Take a look below at some summer safety hazards and what you can do to help avoid them.
Physical labour in hot conditions can increase how quickly your body loses water. This will decrease your hydration levels, leading to possible health and safety risks.
Have hydrating fluids like water ready and easily accessible. By doing this, you are more likely to grab a drink whilst your busy at work.
If you don’t keep your skin covered as much as you can when working outside, you are likely to have the short term effect of sunburn as a result. However, in the long run, this can increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
If you wear UV protection and keep your skin covered as much as you can, then you will reduce the risks of getting sunburnt, therefore reducing your risk of potentially developing skin cancer.
Whether you or your colleagues are mentally or physically fatigued on site, it is important to do something about it.
There are a few ways to help avoid fatigue on site. Ensure your workload is manageable, speak up if you are feeling fatigued and use technology or machinery wherever possible to reduce the amount of strain that is put on the body.
When on-site, it is important to keep an eye on one another, especially in hot conditions. It is good to be aware of the symptoms someone may show if they are suffering from heat exhaustion.
These symptoms may include, slurred speech, being unresponsive, disorientation or stumbling. It is so important to be aware of these signs because working on-site with machinery and tools can be dangerous when not being fully aware of what you are dealing with.
Skin Cancer in the Construction Industry
Take a look at our blog here which raises awareness of skin cancer in the construction industry and the dangers of not looking after your skin when you are exposed to the sun.Back to News View Our Courses