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One of the major hazards associated with work outdoors is the possibility of developing skin cancer. Through numerous studies and extensive research into the subject, it has been established that Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. This is due to our position on the globe and the harmful rays of the sun that we are exposed to.
Because of Australia’s proximity to the equator it experiences some of the highest levels of solar UV radiation in the world. Its geographical position in the southern hemisphere, where the earth’s oval shaped orbit brings us closer to the sun in summer than countries in the northern hemisphere on similar latitudes. So particularly for Australians sun care is a major concern especially for construction workers who spend the majority of their time outdoors.
Some of the measures workers should take if they are exposed to the sun for extended periods of time are to take the appropriate precautions to avoid long term damage to the skin. This includes wearing appropriate PPE such as a wide brimmed hat, long sleeved, loose flowing shirt, sunglasses and sunscreen. Your sunscreen should have an SPF of 30 or higher. Also wear long sleeves to protect the arms and sunglasses to protect the eyes and sensitive area around them. Administrative measures can also help such as rotating work schedules so that workers time in the sun is shared or taking breaks during hours when the sun is at its most intense.