When working outdoors, know what precautions to take to stay safe

June 14, 2018

It’s that time of year again, summer is just around the corner and some of us are starting to work outdoors for the season. Outdoor workers have up to a 3.5 times greater risk of developing skin cancer than indoor workers.1 Extra diligence is needed to make sure that you are safe from UV rays and heat stress.

Here are a few tips to help you be sun and heat smart this summer.

Avoid UV rays

  • Wear protective clothing (wide-brimmed hats, light-coloured long-sleeve shirts, and sunglasses)

  • Any exposed skin should be protected with sunblock of a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 that is water-resistant, also remember to use lip balm with a similar SPF

Prevent heat stress

  • Be familiar with the signs of heat stress – it can be fatal. Those working in the forestry industry have some of the highest rates of heat stress.

  • Acclimatize your body to working in the heat and sun.

  • Stay hydrated –drink plenty of water

  • Avoid caffeine

  • Take rest break in cool or ventilated areas. Some people with certain medical or physical conditions may require more breaks or rest periods.

  • Schedule work to minimize heat exposure


Resources for developing a sun safety program

Learn more about the dangers of humidex

Sun safety basics 


1. Radespiel-Tröger, M., Meyer, M., Pfahlberg, A., Lausen, B., Uter, W., Gefeller, O. (2009). Outdoor work and skin cancer incidence: a registry-based study in Bavaria. Int Arch Occup Environ Health, 82, 357–36.

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