Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer’s Here – Sun Protection Matters

Do you and your employees have the protection you need to be at your best all summer long?

As the adage goes “a healthy worker is a happy productive worker” and for outdoor workers who receive five to 10 times more ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure yearly (Cancer Council NSW, 2011) they’re at a greater risk of developing skin cancer.

A small investment in sunscreen can have the biggest impact by decreasing over-exposure of UV rays by at least 93% (American Cancer Society, 2014). It’s important to take the preventative measure even though there is no way to block out 100% of the sun’s UV rays and completely stop chances of melanoma.

You may think the over-the-counter sunscreen does the job, but you should know it likely doesn’t have the same protective properties industrial grade sunscreen does.

It’s important to keep your employees protected from the hazards of working during the summer. With the combination of the heat and the radiation of the sun, you and your team are facing an increased risk to your health as well as decrease in productivity levels.
With the increasing responsibilities you face in protecting your employees and in providing healthcare, it’s important to remain compliant with O.S.H.A. Rules 1926.28(a) and 1910.132.
Here are some tips when selecting the proper sunscreens:
  • Use SPF 30+ (SPF rated above 50+ is misleading)
  • Reapply often and make sure your sunscreen is rated as Broad-Spectrum
  • Make sure it has an 80 minute water-resistant duration time
  • Look for Titanium Dioxide and Avobenzone or Mexorly SX in its ingredients
  • Avoid continuous spray
  • Avoid powders
  • Avoid added insect repellent
Here are two suggested products that comply with O.S.H.A. and FDA regulations:


Sun X SPF 30+ Broad Spectrum Sunscreen has several unique packaging options, allowing the most effective and economical skin care program for any environment. This sunscreen is fully FDA compliant at SPF30+, PABA and oil free, formulated with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, is Water and Sweat Proof with a maximum allowed duration time (80 minutes), and passed the Lineman's Glove Testing (Type 1 Class 2 ANSI/ASTM D120).

Why this stands out? The maximum allowed duration time of 80 minutes is an added benefit other lines can’t promise.


Like its counterpart mentioned, above this towlette does the job while on the job and is convenient. Available in easy-to-use foil packets, this sunscreen is fully FDA compliant at SPF30+, PABA and oil free, formulated with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, is Water and Sweat Proof, and passed the Lineman's Glove Testing (Type 1 Class 2 ANSI/ASTM D120). Each towelette contains about 1/4 ounce of sunscreen and won’t leave you feeling greasy like other common sunscreens.

While those who enjoy the summer heat, outdoor workers feel temperature fluctuations of anywhere from 10° to 30° - and with the strenuous activities you perform daily in your position, the average worker sweats and using an inadequate sunscreens can cause your pores to become blocked preventing heat and sweat from escaping your body - further contributing to the possible attack of heat illness.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control, 2008) suggests the following tips for preventing heat illness:
  • Adjust work schedules to provide workers with a rest from the heat
  • Postpone nonessential tasks
  • Provide cool rest areas as well as shade and water for workers
  • Wear proper protective clothing
  • Ensure workers are drinking enough water to stay hydrated
  • Allow workers time to acclimate to the hot environment
Now it is important to make sure your employees are protected from the heat, but it’s even more important to protect your team from the sun. With one in five Americans developing skin cancer in the course of their lifetime are you ensuring your health and the health of your employees?

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