The summer presents many hazards for outdoor workers—from heat-related illnesses to tick bites. One danger that is often underestimated: sun exposure. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause sun burns, blisters, premature aging, cataracts, and skin cancer. According to the CDC, skin cancer results in more than $100 million in lost workplace productivity annually. Fortunately, there are steps employers can take to prevent sun exposure. This UV Safety Month, we’re shining a light on a few of the easiest-to-follow tips:

  • Encourage employees to cover up with loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, ideally in SPF- or UV-protection fabrics
  • Ask workers to lather up with an SPF sunscreen and lip balm of SPF 15 or higher every two hours in order to protect against UVA and UVB rays
  • Require workers to wear UV-absorbent shades and don wide-brimmed hats that protect the neck, ears, eyes, nose, and scalp
  • Limit exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s glare is most intense
  • Offer or schedule breaks in the shade for cool downs and sunscreen reapplication
  • Modify work sites by increasing the amount of shade available (e.g., installing tents) or decreasing UV reflection (e.g., covering shiny surfaces)
  • Incorporate sun-safety information into workplace wellness programs
  • Train workers on the signs and symptoms of sun overexposure

Need additional guidance on how to protect outdoor workers from summer hazards? Contact us at