How can workers protect their skin on the job this summer?

Many California workers perform jobs that require them to be out in the elements. This can lead to too much sun exposure and an increased risk of heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even skin cancer. These tips can keep them safer.

Wear protective clothing and gear

Regardless of the type of work performed, workers can better protect their skin against the sun’s harmful UV rays by wearing protective clothing and gear. Light-colored clothing is ideal for reflecting the sun. A wide-brimmed hat can protect the face from too much sun exposure and sunglasses can protect the eyes.

Use sunscreen

Although most average people only need sunscreen with SPF 30, employees who work outdoors in the summer heat need to wear sunscreen with at least SPF 60. If workers only have access to SPF 30 sunscreen, it should be applied to any areas of the skin that are exposed and reapplied liberally every two hours.

Take regular shade breaks

While working outdoors, employees should take regular breaks in the shade to cool off. They can take a breather while reapplying sunscreen and drinking more water. Employers should also provide their workers with appropriate areas where they can relax in the shade during their breaks. Setting up tents and cooling stations can help prevent heat-related injuries.

Regularly check the skin

Workers should regularly check their skin for any noticeable changes. If a new mole appears or an existing mole suddenly looks different, it should be taken seriously. Growths that bleed, change color, are scaly or shiny or that have irregular borders should be examined. Employers should encourage workers to see a dermatologist if they spot any skin abnormalities so they can be screened for skin cancer.

When workers are proactive about the health of their skin, it can keep them more aware and safer and can save lives.

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