Spending much of their time outdoors puts Laborers at risk for overexposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, which are proven to cause premature skin aging and skin cancer. Wearing sunscreen along with sunglasses, hats and other protective clothing can help prevent overexposure, but the key is making these practices daily habits that all workers practice year round.
Outdoor work also puts Laborers at risk for heat illness when high temperatures or workloads don’t let the body cool off fast enough. Heat illness can lead to dehydration, muscle cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can be fatal. Heat illness can be prevented by allowing workers to acclimatize to the heat and by providing them with water, rest and shade.
The Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America (LHSFNA) raises awareness about the dangers of skin cancer, heat illness and other outdoor hazards through its Sun Sense Plus campaign. Along with distributing sunscreen, lip balm, neck flaps, cooling cloths and insect repellent towelettes and tick keys to Laborers across the U.S. and Canada, the Fund also provides posters, Health Alerts and other educational materials to make sure members know how to prevent skin cancer and heat illness and recognize early signs and symptoms.
Sun Sense Plus products and publications are available free of charge to LIUNA District Councils, Local Unions, training centers, LECET funds and signatory contractors for distribution to LIUNA members. Individual LIUNA members should order through their District Council, Local Union or employer representative. Some products are only available in limited quantities and may not be available all year.