Be UV Aware this summer
Learn the facts so you can make sure your employees are protected from UV radiation damage when working outside this summer.
Employer legal obligations
According to HSE guidelines, UV radiation should be considered an occupational hazard for people who work outdoors. All employers have a duty of care to protect their employees from hazards in the workplace, so they should provide means for employees to be protected from UV solar exposure when working.
It is also important for employers to provide enough information and training on UV radiation, when protection is needed and how to protect against UV damage.
What is UV?
Ultraviolet (UV) rays come from the sun and when they reach the earth’s surface, they are strong enough to damage the skin.
There are three types of UV rays, but only two can penetrate the protective ‘o-zone’ layer surrounding Earth’s atmosphere.
UVA Rays are able to penetrate the atmosphere and can cause skin cancer, wrinkling and premature aging. All sun cream will have a star-rating for the quality of the UVA protection it provides, from one star for minimum to five star for ultra protection against UVA rays.
UVB Rays are also able to penetrate the atmosphere. UVB rays are the main cause of skin reddening and sunburn. The UVB protection of a sun cream can be determined by the Sun Protection Factor, otherwise known as the SPF rating. A minimum of SPF30 is recommended when protection is required.
UVC Rays cannot penetrate the atmosphere and are therefore not a hazard for most workers. However, UVC rays can be created artificially during industrial processes such as welding so it is important to provide adequate protection against UVC rays for workers who may be exposed to UVC radiation.
Why is UV exposure dangerous?
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world. Too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun causes sunburn, skin damage and increases the risk of skin cancer.
According to the IOSH No Time to Lose Solar Radiation Campaign, 90% of skin cancer deaths could be prevented. Pro-actively protecting your employees against the damage of UV could prevent them from skin cancer.
Statistics from the Skcin charity show that 6 people currently die each day as a result of skin cancer in the UK, and that less people die in Australia than the UK from skin cancer.
When is protection needed?
The UV Index was created by the World Health Organisation and details the UV Level on a daily basis. To find out the daily UV Level in your area, visit www.metoffice.gov.uk.
When the UV Level reaches 3 or above, protection is required!
How to protect against UV damage
Employers and their employees can follow the five easy S’ of Sun Safety to protect against UV damage. Workers should be encouraged to use sun protective clothing, a minimum of SPF30 sun cream, broad brimmed hats and sunglasses, and encourage workers to take breaks and work in shaded areas wherever possible.
Workers should also be encouraged to check their skin regularly and seek medical advice if they find any unusual moles, spots or other changes to the skin.
Employers can provide a range of UV safety products for their employees to use whilst working outside. OAASIS Group will now be stocking a selection of Deb Stoko sun creams and dispensers available online and in store.
Deb Stoko UV Protection Products
|Deb UV PROTECT DispenserFor use with Sun PROTECT 30 PURE 1L cartridges.Standard Deb design specially made for the Sun PROTECT range.
Features pictogram instructions for use.
Available as a 1L Dispenser only.
|Stokoderm Sun PROTECT 50+UV Skin protection cream, UVA | UVB.UVA ultra rated protection, very high UVB protection, SPF50+
Moisturising with 24 hour hydration, water-resistant.
Spray liquid for quick skin absorbtion and easy application.
Available in 200ml liquid spray bottle only.
|UV Skin Safety Centre‘Be UV Aware’ safety board for use in the workplace.Features key facts about skin cancer and a UV index display.
Deb 1L UV PROTECT dispenser and mirror attached to board.
Available in ‘Be UV Aware’ safety board design only.
Contact OAASIS Group today for more information on Deb Stoko’s range of UV protection products.