Protect Yourself Against Sun Exposure
For construction workers, summer means working long hours in the hot sun. All that time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of sunburn, sun poisoning, and skin cancer.
The clothing a construction worker wears is an important part of protecting your skin from UV rays. Clothing is the best form of sun protection, but not all clothing offers the same level of protection from UV light. Several factors such as material, weave, and color affect the amount of UV radiation a material blocks. Long-sleeved shirts and pants made from closely-knit materials in darker colors offer the best UV protection.
Wearing sunscreen is an important part of protecting construction workers for UV rays. You want to select a broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers protection from both UVB and UVA radiation. The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is also important to consider when selecting the right sunscreen to use. The SPF measures the amount of protection from UVB radiation.
Sunscreen with an SPF 30 protects against UVB rays 30 times longer than unprotected skin before starting to turn red. So, if your unprotected skin starts to turn red after 10 minutes, skin covered with sunscreen with an SPF 30 would protect your skin for 300 minutes. The SPF also determines how much UVB is blocked when worn. Sunscreen with SPF 15 blocks 93% of the UVB rays, while SPF 30 blocks 97%.
Construction workers should also consider choosing a sunscreen that is water resistant. Water-resistant sunscreen is rated to last either 40 minutes or 80 minutes. Construction workers should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher that is water resistant for 80 minutes.
Sunscreen should be applied to all parts of exposed skin at least 20 minutes before going outdoors. Remember to reapply at least every two hours. Reapply more frequently on days with a high UV index. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure you are applying enough sunscreen to adequately protect your skin.