Work outdoors? Protect yourself from the sun
Working outside in the sun can cause serious skin problems, including burns and skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, exposure to the sun is the primary cause of skin cancer, and with more than 3.5 million skin cancer diagnoses a year, this disease should not be ignored.
One in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their life, New York-based SCF states.
To help prevent skin damage when working outdoors, SCF recommends a variety of tips, including:
- Avoid working outside during the hottest, sunniest parts of the day (generally between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.).
- Ensure workers have access to a shady spot to rest in during breaks.
- Cover the skin as much as possible when working in the sun. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants, sunglasses and a hat. Sunglasses should filter out UV rays. For hats, the brim should be at least 3 inches wide for the best protection.
- Apply water-resistant sunscreen rated with an SPF of 15 or above. Reapply every few hours – more often if sweating profusely.
- Do not forget to protect the skin on your face, neck, ears, hands and lips.
- Be aware that light bounces off sand, water, concrete and other colored surfaces. If you work near any of these, take extra care in protecting your skin. Additionally, you can get a sunburn even in the winter months, as light bounces off snow. Wear sunscreen to help protect your skin year-round.