Working in Australia, a crucial safety aspect to consider on the jobsite is sun protection. Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with more than 95% caused by unprotected exposure to UV radiation from the sun. More than 1.2 million Australian workers are exposed to ultraviolet radiation at levels up to 10 times more than indoor workers. (Source – Cancer Council Australia)
Protective measures against UV:
If you are working outside it is recommended you use:
- Sun protective clothing – covering as much skin as possible. Choose a lightweight material that allows sweat to evaporate, is tightly woven and rated UPF 50+
- SPF 30+ sunscreen applied 20 minutes before going into the sun. Choose a broad spectrum (which filters both UVA and UVB radiation) and water-resistant sunscreen. Re-apply every two hours.
- Broad-brimmed or legionnaire hats – create shade for the face, neck and ears. Choose a UPF 50+ fabric
- Seek shade if possible – rotating jobs between workers if some activities can be done in shaded areas
- Close-fitting, wraparound sunglasses with a lens category of 2+
Most workplaces reduce exposure by offering personal protective equipment to defend their workers against this preventable danger, however one important item gets overlooked – gloves! PIP Australia’s priority is safety for working Australian’s, which is why we offer a wide range of gloves with Ultra Violet Protection:
Our general purpose high dexterity gloves include the GuardTek SuperSkin NEO with a UPF 50+ rating and the G-Tek SuperLite offering maximum UV protection.
Cut resistant gloves with a UPF 50+ rating in our range include the GuardTek PolyKor X7 and GuardTek PolyKor X7 Hi Vis both with cut resistant level D, as well as the G-Tek PolyKor X7 Platinum F+ with a cut resistance level F.
Our specialised cut resistant gloves include the G-Tek Dual Coat PolyKor X7 for wet & oily work, with a cut level C protection rating and UPF 50+ resistance. As well as the Maxitek ForceShield X7 with impact protection Level 2, Cut resistance level E and UPF 50+ protection.
Other protective measures against UV:
- Avoid reflective surfaces – Those working on concrete, snow, glass, water and polished metals are exposed to increased levels of ultraviolet radiation. Soft or rough surfaces reflect less ultraviolet radiation and are safer than hard or smooth surfaces. Painting surfaces in a less reflective darker colour also helps to reduce levels.
- Tinted car windows – reduce ultraviolet radiation entering a vehicle
- Schedule jobs – Plan to complete outdoor jobs early in the morning or later in the afternoon when ultraviolet radiation levels are lower.