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Protecting Yourself from the Sun and Heat


Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can cause premature aging of the skin, wrinkles, cataracts, and skin cancer.  There are no safe UV rays.  Be especially careful in the sun if you burn easily, man hat waterspend a lot of time outdoors, or have any of the following physical features; numerous, irregular, or large moles, freckles, fair skin, or blond, red, or light brown hair.  It’s important to examine your body monthly because skin cancers detected early can almost always be cured.  The most important warning sign is a spot on the skin that changes in size, shape, or color during a period of 1 month to 1 or 2 years.  If you find any unusual skin changes, see a health care professional immediately. Here’s how to block those harmful rays:

*Cover up - Wear lightly woven clothing that is not see through.
*Use Sunscreen - A sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 blocks 93% of UV rays.
*Wear a hat – A wide brim had, not a baseball cap, work best because it protect the neck, ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and scalp.
*Wear UV-absorbent shades – Sunglasses should block 99-100% of UVA and UVB radiation.
*Limit exposure – UV rays are most intense between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.



The combination of heat and humidity can be a serious health threat during the summer months.  The most serious heat illness is heat stroke.  Other heat related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rash, should also be avoided.  Symptoms of heat exhaustion are headache, dizziness, fainting, weakness and wet skin, irritability or confusion, thirst, nausea, or vomiting. So, take precautions.  Here’s how:

*Drink plenty of water before you get thirsty.
*Wear light, loose-fitting, breathable clothing.  Cotton is good.
*Take frequent short breaks in cool shade*Eat smaller meal before work activities.
*Avoid caffeine or large amounts of sugar.
*Know that equipment such as respirators or work suits can increase heat stress.
*Find out from your healthcare provider if your medication and heat don’t mix.

Know the signs/symptoms of heat illnesses; monitor yourself; use a buddy system. What to Do When a Worker is Ill from the heat.

*Call a supervisor for help.  If the supervisor is not available, call Public Safety at 229-2121.
*Have someone stay with the worker until help arrives.
*Move the worker to a cooler/shaded area.
*Remove outer clothing.
*Fan and mist the worker with water; apply ice (ice bags or ice towels).
*Provide cool drinking water, if able to drink. 

Brian Rudduck
Assistant Director Environmental Health & Life Safety
Environmental Health and Safety/Risk Management  
Department of Facilities Management

Archive of Safety Information

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Archive of Safety Information>>>