As the cold mornings start to become few and far to make way for the warmer months it is more important than ever to remember sun safety on-site. It’s no surprise that Australian summers are hot to say the least, which can have some Tradies and outdoor workers dreading the as some might say, the unbearable hot season.
These very hot and extreme conditions can lead to heat-related health problems. UV Radiation is a major workplace hazard to employees who spend some or majority of their working day outdoors. Taking precautions by wearing these five personal protection items will help to prevent the affects of heat stress and allow you to stay sun safe during the summer months.
Wear light, loose fitting clothing that covers an adequate amount of the body. Clothes should be made from fabrics that assist in the evaporation of perspiration e.g. cotton and be light in colour, avoid wearing black. Although it might be tempting to wear shorts and short sleeved shirts, to stay protected it's best to ensure shirts and trousers are long.
Hats with brims of at least 8 centimetres or Foreign Legion’ style caps with loose flap to protect the neck and ears should be worn to ensure the best protection from the sun.
Sunscreen should be non-allergenic and have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30+ but preferably 50+. Remember that no type of sunscreen provides complete protection; you must remember to wear it in combination with hats, clothing and other protective measures. Make sure to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, more often if profuse sweating is occurring.
4. LIP PROTECTION
Don't forget the lips! The skin on your lips doesn’t contain melanin, which provides natural protection, therefore your lips need to be protected with 15+ and above zinc.
5. EYE PROTECTION
Eye protection should be used for both safety and health reasons, i.e. protecting eyes from the sun and shielding from debris or chemicals.
These five key items will help to ensure you are protecting yourself from the harsh summer rays whilst on the worksite. Remember to stay cool whenever possible, keep covered and stay hydrated by drinking at least 2-3L per day.