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If you have employees who work outside, it’s important to manage how much sunlight they are exposed to. Here are some tips to help your people reduce their risk of skin cancer while they work outside.
People who work outside are exposed to up to 10 times the ultraviolet (UV) radiation of those who work inside, increasing their chances of developing skin cancer. That’s why it’s important for your outdoor staff to take all possible steps to protect themselves.
SunSmart: Facts and information(external link) — Wellplace
Having a workplace SunSmart policy is a good place to start. A policy allows you to set out how you will protect workers from the sun, and lets employees know what’s expected of them.
Our Workplace Policy Builder can help you create a SunSmart policy for your business.
Here are some ways to reduce your workers’ exposure to UV radiation, as well as heat exhaustion.
If possible, move tasks inside or adjust work times to when UV levels are lower, such as early morning or late afternoon.
Allow workers to do tasks under trees or other shaded areas, or put up temporary shade structures like an outdoor umbrella. Ensure break areas are shaded.
Shade(external link) — SunSmart
Depending on the requirements of your industry, PPE could include:
Ensure easy access to a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF50. Ensure sunscreen is within its expiry date and not stored anywhere too hot, such as a vehicle’s glovebox.
Use sunscreen(external link) — SunSmart
Talk about being safe in the sun at the start of each day. Wellplace have prompt cards to help guide the discussion.
There are many myths about being safe in the sun, eg even when it’s cloudy, it’s important to stay protected from the sun. Wellplace has messages you can share and posters you can put up in your workplace to bust those myths.
Busting sun safety myths(external link) — Wellplace
Most skin cancers can be treated if found early, so encourage your employees to have a GP or skin specialist check their skin, together with regular self-checks.