Debunking some myths about working in the summer heat

as explained in Part 1 of this blogpeople working in the heat of the Australian summer face many hazards, heat stress, dehydration, overactivity, UVA and UVB sun exposure.

Beyond the obvious redness and discomfort of sunburn, the long-term effects of overexposure to UV light cannot be underestimated. It is estimated that approximately 200 cases of melanoma and 34,000 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are caused by occupational exposures in Australia each year.

The most common cause of cancer claims from 2000 to 2009 was sun exposure (51%), followed by asbestos (27%). In Australia, between 2000 and 2012, there were a total of 1,970 workers’ compensation claims for sun-related injuries/illnesses, with compensation payments totaling $63 million.

Stay safe and cool at work.Check out our line of cooling clothes

Let’s break some myths!

How many times have you heard the following at work?

“I don’t need sunscreen because I got sunburned”

Sunburn is actually a sign of skin damage. Sunburn provides limited sun protection around SPF3, but cannot prevent further DNA damage. Having a naturally dark skin tone won’t protect you. Naturally, dark-skinned people are at less risk than fair-skinned people who are more prone to burns.

“It’s too late, the damage is done.”

Even after years of working outside without sunscreen, sun damage increases. It’s never too late to protect your skin. Don’t think it’s already damaged and it’s too late to change. Whether or not you start using sunscreen today can make the difference between getting a skin cancer diagnosis.

“It’s too cloudy to use sunscreen”

Cloudy days can cause sunburn, and UV rays can penetrate some clouds and can be even more intense due to reflections from the base of the clouds. Ultraviolet radiation is just as strong on cool sunny days as it is on hot summer days.

“Don’t get burned in the car, stay in the shade”

Ultraviolet radiation from the sun, which is associated with about 90% of all skin cancers, reaches the earth as long-wave UVA and short-wave UVB rays. The glass effectively blocks UVB and the windshield is specially treated to block UVA as well, while the vehicle’s side and rear windows are UVA permeable.

The 2008 National Hazard Exposure Worker Surveillance surveyed the provision of sunscreen to employees and found that hats, sunscreen, and protective clothing were the most frequently provided control measures. However, nearly one-fifth (17%) of those workers surveyed who worked in direct sunlight said they would protect themselves or their employers to prevent health problems caused by exposure to direct sunlight or sunburn. It reports that the Lord did nothing. This allows these companies to prepare for future compensation claims and lawsuits.

The Cancer Council recommends a combination of five sunscreens: slip on clothing with UPF 50, slop on sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, slap on hat, seek shade, and slip-on sunnies.

Image courtesy: cancer council australia.

At Elliotts, we aim to take care of you while you work and get you home safely by providing a wide range of quality safety equipment and personal protective equipment. We offer a variety of protective clothing and gear, including hats and hat brims, sunglasses, and cooling clothing, to protect you from the harmful effects of UV rays when working outdoors in the sun.


Contact Elliots today for more information on protective clothing and gear to protect you while working in the summer heat! Call us today! +61 7 3265 2944 Or send us a message contact us page.

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