Skin cancer should be of particular concern to every construction Laborer because, working outdoors so much throughout the summer, you are at high risk.
The danger comes from the sun itself. Just as a technician covers your body with a lead shield before taking x-rays, you have to cover your skin with sun screen before exposing yourself to solar radiation.
SPF-15 or higher sun screen should be applied to all exposed areas – including nose, lips and ears – a half hour before outdoor work and every two hours during the work day. A flap that hangs from your hardhat will protect the back of your neck. Of course, outdoor workers, despite the heat, should wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
May is Skin Cancer Prevention Month, and the LHSFNA Health Promotion Division uses the occasion to conduct its annual Sun Sense campaign, an all-out effort to alert Laborers to the solar danger in outdoor summer work. The Division gathers and distributes a wide array of protection products and information to LIUNA training centers, local unions and interested signatory contractors. It also can provide train-the-trainer classes in skin cancer protection.
Among the products available are neck flaps, sun screen towelettes and lip balm. In addition, the Division has posters, bookmarks and health alerts that explain or amplify the message.
This year, the campaign is bolstered by the publication of four new skin cancer awareness posters, designed by LHSFNA graphic artist Arianna Hodges. The vivid, full-color posters, each 12 X 18 inches, make the point that sunscreen and other sun protection products should be part of every outdoor Laborer’s personal protective equipment.
LIUNA District Councils, local unions and training centers are urged to participate in the campaign.