Did you know that ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are just as harmful as the rays that come from a tanning bed? Even the briefest exposure to these rays can damage skin and eyes and increase the risk of skin cancer. As if that weren’t enough, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that skin cancer costs businesses in the U.S. more than $100 million in productivity due to absences and restricted activity.
Here in Colorado, we’re at least a mile closer to the sun than the rest of the country, so we’re at an even higher risk of these sun-related injuries. We want to help you protect your employees, so here are three simple ways to integrate UV safety into your everyday.
- Add sun safety to your workplace policy. For example:
- Weave sun safety resources into your already existing workplace safety and wellness programs.
- Train your employees to use the UV Index so they can identify when levels are dangerous.
- Make sure employees understand where they can find more information. Order Pinnacol’s free sun safety poster in English and Spanish, and visit the CDC and OSHA for more resources and information.
- Provide protection from the sun. Do things like:
- Offer sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher, protective clothing, eyewear and hats to your employees.
- Schedule outdoor work to avoid high-risk times (between noon and 3 p.m.).
- Use your space wisely.
- Use the shady areas around your work site as shelter from the sun to rest and reapply sunscreen.
- Modify the work site by providing tents, cooling stations or other shelter from the sun. Covering shiny surfaces can decrease UV reflection as well.