Here Comes the Sun: Save Your Employees’ Skin!
Here comes the sun! The summer months can make working outside a pleasant experience, but they also open up outdoor workers to the risk of melanoma and other types of skin cancer. Skin cancer accounts for almost half of all cancers diagnosed in the United States every year. And outdoor workers are at an extremely high risk for overexposure from the sun. May is the American Academy of Dermatology’s Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention month. We’ve provided insight and tips to help combat skin cancer and protect your property’s employees.
As a result of being exposed to the sun’s rays at high levels and frequency, many maintenance workers and contractors develop skin cancer sometime in their life. If the workers at your organization are doing any of the following, they’re putting themselves at high risk for developing skin cancer:
- Not wearing sunscreen
- Not applying sunscreen frequently enough
- Not wearing polarized eye protection
- Incurring frequent sunburn
- Wearing minimal upper body clothing when working in warmer temperatures
- As an employer, you can take an active role in helping your employees prevent skin cancer.
Uniform and Sun Protection Policy
One way to better protect your employees is by implementing and enforcing a uniform and sun protection policy. Be sure to include the following provisions in your policy:
- Uniform shirts must be worn at all times
- In areas where hardhats aren’t required, a hat that will protect the face from the sun must be worn when workers are exposed to the sun for more than 20 minutes
- In working areas where an umbrella, tarp or other form of sun protection is provided, these must always be utilized
- In areas where eye protection isn’t already required, sunglasses must always be worn to prevent eye damage
- Sunscreen must be applied every hour to all exposed areas of the skin
These safeguards ensure that the upper bodies of your workers (with the exception of necks and lower arms) are adequately protected from the sun at all times. Be sure to educate your workers on the risks and causes of skin cancer. The sun is shining. Enjoy it and be careful.
- “How to Create a Safety Culture” Webinar Replay
- Workplace Eye Safety Means Business
- Protect Your Team & Score With Safety Webinar Replay
- Safety E-Book
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