Did you know that up to 90 percent of all skin cancers are caused by prolonged or intense exposure to the sun? Outdoor workers are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and at greater risk of sun damage and skin cancers. With this in mind, The Five S’s of Sun Safety can guide you in safeguarding your employees:
- Slip on sun-protective clothing
- Slop on SPF 30+ sunscreen
- Slap on a sun hat
- Slide on quality sunglasses
- Shade from the sun whenever possible
UV radiation from the sun reflects off water, sand, concrete, light-colored surfaces and snow, which can harm the eyes. These surfaces considerably increase the strength of the sun’s damaging rays, so employees who work in these areas should exercise extra precaution.
Important to Know
- Sunlight exposure is highest during the summer and between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Workers are exposed to UV radiation even on cloudy days.
- Many drugs and medications increase sensitivity to sunlight and the risk of sunburn. These include thiazides, diuretics, tetracycline, doxycycline, sulfa antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen.
Is your workplace sun-safe?
We know that more than 80 percent of skin cancer cases are caused by overexposure to UV, so this hazard is largely preventable! Education about the prevention and early detection of this disease should be a priority for all organizations.
Pinnacol and other resources
For information and standards that can improve your organization’s sun safety, visit the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Cancer Society websites. For workplace posters, forms, online training and more, visit Pinnacol’s Knowledge Center webpages. Or call Pinnacol’s Safety On Call hotline at (303)361-4700 or (888)501-4752. Our Safety Services team stands ready to answer questions and help keep your employees safe from the sun’s hazards.