Researchers have found that Australia has the most number of people affected with skin cancer in the world. This is a particular concern for workers who spend a lot of time outdoors, such as construction workers. So how exactly do workers and employers manage this hazard?

Some practical measures to follow include:

  • Try to take regular breaks in the shade. Employers should provide temporary shade if there isn’t any natural shade. The sun is most harsh at midday so workers should take a break at this time and sit in the shade.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and the sensitive area around your eyes. Some safety work glasses do provide sun protection.
  • Apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply every 2 hours. Use lip balm with sunscreen because your lips are also exposed.
  • Always wear sun protective clothing such as long pants and long sleeves to protect your skin from the sun. These should be a loose fit to keep you cool.
  • Wear a hat to protect the face, ears and neck.

If outdoor workers comply with these guidelines and any others provided by their employer, the extent of sun damage can be minimised.


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