Sun Safety/ Heat Stress
That’s Not a Tan! It’s skin cells damaged by UV rays!
With every sunburn or overexposure, tiny errors appear in your DNA. The prime cause of skin cancer is sun exposure. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Canada.
As a construction worker you are at greater risk for developing skin cancer because you are regularly exposed to the sun for long periods of time in both summer and winter. Reflection of the sun off wet pavement or snow can be just as damaging as the direct summer sun. Sunscreen is an important tool for protecting yourself from the sun and preventing skin cancer. When used correctly sunscreen can prevent sun damage which causes mutation in your skin cells and DNA. Sunscreen gives you added protection from the sun, but covering up with clothing, sunglasses and hats, or seeking shade are best.
How to wear sunscreen – Slop it on!
Most people don’t use nearly enough sunscreen – a thin layer of SPF 60 lotion will only work like an SPF 15 lotion, and a thin layer of SPF 15 becomes pretty much useless at SPF 4.
Lay it on thick: Apply enough sunscreen to make your skin white before it absorbs the lotion. If using a spray lotion apply two to three tablespoons to cover your whole body once. Don’t forget the tops of your ears and use an SPF 30 lip balm.
The BCCSA are your industry funded construction safety association! Worker safety is our number one priority!
Have a question? We offer free safety advice. Call us today at 1.877.860.3675.
This information was produced in cooperation with the BC Cancer Agency Prevention Programs .
- Sun Safety for Outdoor Workers fact sheets, manuals, DVD and posters - from the Canadian Dermatology Association
- Preventing Heat Stress at Work booklet - from WorkSafeBC
- Managing Heat Stress at Work: Prevention Guidelines