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Published: Spring, 2006; Vol 8, Num 2

 

Skin Cancer Prevention for Laborers:
Top 10 Tips for Sun Safety

It is impossible to completely avoid sunlight, especially if you work out-of-doors. But there are precautions you can take to limit exposure to the sun’s damaging UV rays.

  1. Minimize your sun exposure or be especially cautious when the sun’s rays are the strongest – between 10 am and 4 pm. Check the UV Index for your area. It can usually be found in the newspaper or on TV and radio news broadcasts, or on the web at www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html.
  2. Use sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours, especially when on an outdoor jobsite and during the peak sun hours. And be generous – use about one ounce (a “palmful”) to cover your arms, legs, neck and face.
  3. Protect your lips and nose. Use a lip balm with SPF protection and use sunscreen on your face, neck and nose.
  4. Cover up! Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, neck coverings, and long pants to protect your skin from the sun and other workplace hazards and to keep you cooler.
  5. Don’t forget the back of your neck and ears. Attach a neck flap to your hard hat to protect them from skin damage.
  6. Protect your eyes from sun damage with UV-blocking sunglasses. Look for a label that says “UV absorption up to 400mm,” “Special Purpose” or “Meets ANSI UV Requirements.”
  7. Avoid the sun if you are taking a medication that makes your skin extra sun-sensitive. Read the label or check with your doctor if you are not sure about the potential reactions to a medication.
  8. Examine your skin from head-to-toe every month. Use your ABCDs.
  9. Get your skin examined every year by your doctor.
  10. The sun can cause damage year round. Use sun protection every day to prevent skin cancer.

Use these Sun Safety Tips to protect yourself and your family on and off the jobsite.

Save Your Hide - When Outside