Android and iPhone app to help people stay safe under the sun
Summer is the worst time of year for outdoor workers because it exposes them to the harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun. It is best to take precautions in advance to prevent any sun related conditions from occurring in the first place but if this stage is overlooked workers can suffer from heat strokes, skin damage that can lead to cancer over time and heat exhaustion.
In addition to these possibly life threatening consequences, heat exposure can inhibit the body’s ability to cool itself through sweating which can result in serious injury. However the worst heat induced illnesses are heat exhaustion and heat stroke because if they are not immediately treated they can result in death.
Excess heat in the body, also called thermal stress is not only bad for productivity because it slows a worker down physically, but can also be extremely inconvenient and costly if workers become seriously ill and require time off work or even hospitalisation.
Thankfully the Cancer Council of Australia has just released a helpful new app for Android and iPhones called the SumSmart app. It helps workers who are engaged in outdoor work to remain safe while doing so. Even more good news for workers is that the app is completely free and allows workers to view the latest information relating to the suns UVA and UVB levels and weather forecasts for their specific location.
Read more about the app from this post on SafetyCulture.com.au:
In addition, the app provides users time periods when UV levels are most dangerous in their areas. It also offers recommendations to protect people from the harmful sun rays.
Several safety warnings have already been issued in different parts of the country as the Australian Bureau of Meteorology forecasted hot weather conditions.
WorkCover NSW also warned NSW workers to take precautions as the Bureau predicted day time temperatures to reach the mid 40s during the period. Read SafetyCulture report.
“Employers and workers, especially those working in heat-related conditions, need to remain vigilant to the risks of working in high temperatures given it is expected to be warmer than average across south eastern Australia for the next few days,” said Mr Watson.
“If possible, you should try to re-schedule work to cooler times of the day, for example, early mornings or late afternoons.”
Some of the other precautions workers can take include:
- Staying well hydrated. Drink water often to replace water lost during sweating.
- Take small rest breaks every few hours out of the sun.
- Rest in a cool, shaded area. Use fans or airconditioners to cool the area.
- Wear light-coloured clothing made of cotton. Make sure clothing is loose fitting.
- Do the heaviest work in the coolest time of the day and try to reschedule work so that workers can rest when the sun is at its peak around midday. Work in the shade rather than in direct sunlight whenever possible.
- Workers who wear heavy gear or protective gear should take more frequent rest breaks and monitor their temperature and heart rate regularly.
- If you are unsure about the weather and precautions to take, download the app and access the information needed for free.