Importance Of Ensuring Your Employees Are Sun-Safe When Working Outdoors
November 14, 2017
Exposure to UV radiation (direct sunrays) can have many adverse effects on your skin and general health. For starters, UV rays are carcinogenic, hence can cause skin conditions and even cancer. As an employer, it’s essential to ensure your employees are well protected from these harmful rays especially while working outdoors. Anyone working outdoors is at the highest risk of UV radiation, hence should put on protective gear or apply sunscreen creams to reduce its effect.
Potential Risks of Working Outdoors in the Sun
1. Skin Cancer: Working under the sun without any protective gear puts workers in direct exposure to UV radiation. According to the Cancer Society, these rays cause squamous cell and basal skin cancer. Prolonged exposure to the same may also cause the deadliest known type of skin cancer, melanoma.
2. Eye Problems: Aside from skin cancer, direct exposure to the unbearable heat of the sun (between 10 am and 4 pm) is known to cause macular degeneration, cataracts, and conjunctiva. The cell degeneration becomes worse as one continues to work under the sun without any protection. Employees with such problems will need specialized care, which also means their output will be significantly affected.
3. Weakened Immune System: Exposure to UV rays takes a toll on the skin’s natural defenses, which under most instances goes way beyond the immune system. The development of cancerous cells also leads to a weaker immune system, which leaves the individual at a higher risk of contracting other infections.
From the facts outlined above, it is evident that leaving your employees to work directly under the sun puts their health at risk. This can have various implications for the company too. For instance, these employees will need additional medical cover to get treatment for these conditions. Since this is a workplace acquired condition, the company may have to take care of the patient. This can be quite draining on the company’s finances.
In addition to protecting the employee’s health, ensuring they are sun-safe also reduces the risk of having lawsuits your way. Affected employees may choose to sue the company for exposing them to such conditions knowingly. This again could have a negative impact on your company’s image.
How to Ensure Your Employees Are Sun-Safe
1. Educate the employees: Have the employees sensitized on the effects of UV exposure and how to keep themselves protected from such. Some of the best ways to reduce exposure include applying sunscreen, putting on protective clothing, and sunglasses.
2. Switch schedules: If the employees have to work during the day, then ensure much of the work is done outside times when UV rays are strongest. Times between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. are a lot risky to work outdoors, hence should be avoided.
3. Beware of the environment: Even with protective gear and sunscreen on, working on specific surfaces increased the risk of UV exposure. Some of the surfaces to watch out for include snow, sand, water, and glass.
4. Schedule regular checkups at a skin cancer clinic in Perth. This will ensure that any issues are identified early on and treated appropriately.
These are just but a few tips on how to ensure your employees are sun-safe. While this could save your company some money in the long run, the employees’ health won’t be at risk either.