Outdoor workers run the risk of overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation while under the heat of the sun, which can have a number of negative effects on the human body. From short-term effects such as sunburn and dehydration, to debilitating illnesses such as skin cancer, immunosuppression, and skin ageing, too much sunlight exposure can greatly affect worker health and safety, which in turn affects their performance.
That’s why it is important for employers to do what they can to protect workers from the harsh heat of the sun while at work. While sunlight exposure will always be part of the nature of outdoor work, there are simple things that can be done to help mitigate its negative effects. Below are a few things that can be used to improve sun safety for outdoor workers.
Dehydration is an illness that is commonly associated with overexposure to sunlight. To keep workers from becoming dehydrated, make sure that they have access to water drinking stations. Remind them to take water breaks from time to time so that they remain hydrated throughout the workday.
Cool, shaded areas
Outdoor, open-air work sites must always have an area that is cool and shaded. This area can be used by workers during lunchtime or when taking breaks so that they are not constantly exposed to sunlight. Shaded areas help in keeping body temperatures at acceptable levels, and provides a place where workers can rest.
Sun protection hats
Wearing sun protection hats is a great way to improve sun safety for outdoor workers. These hats are wide-brimmed for ample shade and are typically made of lightweight materials, making them comfortable to wear throughout the day. When looking for sun protection hats, consider those that are made with cotton or polyester.
Another way to protect your workers against UV rays is by making them use sunscreen lotion. The Cancer Council of Australia recommends the use of sunblock with an SPF of at least 30, so choose those that provide at least that. Also, make sure that sunblock is reapplied every now and then for the best results. Use sunscreen lotion that has vitamin E in addition to SPF 30 for better protection.
SPF lip balm
Just like the skin, our lips also need protection against harsh sunlight, and the best way to achieve this is by using lip balm. Use SPF lip balm that has an SPF of 30 and above and have high water resistance for prolonged protection.
The heat and glare produced by the sun can negatively impact the eyes, resulting in a number of effects including headaches, solar retinopathy and macular degeneration. For workers that are constantly exposed to sunlight, make sure that they are using safety sunglasses to protect their vision. Choose a pair that has polarised lens to help filter glare and enhance contrast.
Maintaining sun safety for outdoor workers is important to ensure that they are able to work at full capacity, especially in sites where they are constantly exposed to the elements. Consider implementing these simple, low-cost tips for better protection against environmental factors like sunlight for your workers.
With a large selection of high-quality products, Hunter Industrial Supplies has everything that you need for a safer work environment. If you’re thinking about improving the safety of your workers in your site, visit our website and discover different products that are geared towards improving worker health and safety in the workplace. You can also contact us by visiting this page.