Protect Workers Exposed To UV Radiation, Says OSHA

To help protect outdoor workers exposed to sunlight, OSHA today\r\nissued suggestions to safeguard employees from harmful ultraviolet\r\n(UV) radiation.

To help protect outdoor workers exposed to sunlight, OSHA today issued suggestions to safeguard employees from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

OSHA''s pocket card on harmful sun exposure recommends that workers who spend time outdoors protect themselves from harmful UV rays by wearing protective clothing that does not transmit visible light; broad-brimmed hats that protect the face, ears and neck; and UV ray-blocking sunglasses.

Workers also should frequently apply sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, and seek shade, if possible, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Sunlight is the main source of UV radiation, which can cause eye damage, premature aging of the skin, and skin cancers, such as melanoma.

Melanoma accounts for more than three-fourths of skin cancer-related deaths each year, though most skin cancers can be cured if detected early enough, according to OSHA.

Skin cancer and deaths resulting from melanoma are increasing rapidly in the United States even though fewer cases of most other cancer are being reported, said the agency.

The pocket card is not a new standard or regulation, and it creates no legal obligations.

It is advisory in nature, informational in content, and is intended to provide safety advice to outdoor workers, said OSHA.

The pocket card is available at the agency''s Web site at www.osha.gov under publications.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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