Sign up for Gempler's Email Specials
Get 365 Days of Unlimited Ground Shipping for
only $44.00!

Sun and Heat Protection

Protect your workers from the sun. Not only is it a safe practice to protect your workers from the sun, it is also becoming a workers' compensation issue and an area for possible lawsuits. OSHA has cited employers under the standards, 29CFR 1910.132(a) and 1925.28(a), for not providing their workers adequate sun protection.
Sun Photo
Click on the tabs below for more information
on sun protection, heat stress prevention and skin cancer.
Heat Stress Photos
SPF

The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is not an exact science. Dermatologists tell us an SPF 8 provides about 40 percent protection from UV rays. A 15 jumps to 95 percent, and a 30 goes up to 97 percent. A 45 SPF or greater offers no more than 1 percent additional protection than a 30 SPF, but increases the potential of skin irritation dramatically.
Tips to Protect Yourself from the Sun and Heat Stress
  • Limit the amount of time you spend in the sun. If you work outside all day, take breaks indoors if possible, or in the shade.
  • Use sunscreen lotion on your face, neck, hands, forearms and other unprotected areas of the skin. Be sure to choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or greater. The SPF will be listed on the label.
  • Apply the sunscreen before going out in the sun. It's best to put it on 20 to 30 minutes ahead of time. Reapply it frequently during the day.
  • The sun's rays are the strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Be especially careful to protect your skin from exposure during those hours.
  • Always wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun. When choosing sunglasses, look for a label that indicates they filter at least 90% of the sun's ultraviolet rays.
  • If you can't avoid being outdoors in the sun, wear a lightweight, tightly-woven long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Light-colored clothing is a good choice. Gloves are also a good idea. Be sure your clothes are not too tight.
  • Wear a hat that shades your ears, face, temples and the back of your neck from the sun. These come in many styles. Among them are wide-brimmed hats, pith helmets, and straw hats with extra wide brims.
  • Take time to adjust to working in the heat, especially if you aren't used to working in hot conditions.
  • Drink a lot of water before work, during work, and at the end of the day. Don't just rely on your thirst to tell you how much you need. By the time you are thirsty, you are already somewhat dehydrated. A good rule of thumb is to drink one cup of water every 15-20 minutes while you're working.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing that "breathes." Cotton is a good choice.
  • Wear a hat that shades your ears, face, temples and the back of your neck from the sun.
  • Use sunscreen. Choose sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or greater.
  • Juggle your workload. If possible, do your heaviest tasks during the coolest parts of the day.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea and other drinks containing caffeine. These act as diuretics – they increase fluid loss through urination.
  • Get an adequate amount of sleep.
  • Using products like cooling vests and bandanas can also help.
What is Heat Stress?

Heat stress occurs when your body builds up more heat than it can handle. It's important that you, your supervisors and your workers become familiar with the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses and how to protect themselves. The early signs of heat illness are mild dizziness, fatigue, irritability, decreased concentration and impaired judgment. The worker may also be experiencing heat cramps – painful spasms of the leg, arm or abdominal muscles; heavy sweating and thirst.

Other common heat related illnesses include heat strain, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  Heat strain is a general term for how the body responds to heat stress.  Heat exhaustion is a physical warning that the body is getting too hot.  Body temperature and pulse may be normal or slightly raised but the employee may show heat related symptoms such as headache, vertigo, weakness, thirst and giddiness.  Employees suffering from heat exhaustion tend to respond quickly to treatment and should be removed from the hot environment, allowed to rest and given fluids. 

Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate temperature and the body temperature rises to critical levels.  The primary symptoms are confusion, irrational behavior, loss of consciousness, lack of or inability to sweat, hot, dry skin and an abnormally high body temperature.  If an employee is showing signs of heat stroke emergency medical attention should be obtained immediately. 
 
Skin Cancer Information
Three Types of Skin Cancer Affecting the U.S.
Basal Cell Carcinoma  This tumor usually appears as a small, fleshy bump or nodule on the head, neck and hands. It has been found that the people who have this cancer frequently have light hair and complexions, and they don't tan easily. These tumors don't spread quickly. Untreated, the cancer will begin to bleed, crust over, then repeat the cycle. Although this type of cancer rarely spreads to the rest of the body, it can extend below the skin to the bone and cause considerable local damage.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma  These tumors may appear as nodules or as red, scaly patches. Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common skin cancer found in Caucasians. It typically is found on the rim of the ear, the face, the lips, and the mouth. This cancer will develop into large masses. Unlike basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma can spread to the rest of the body. It is estimated that there are 2,300 deaths from non-melanoma skin cancers every year. The cure rate for both basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma is 95 percent when properly treated.
Malignant Melanoma  It is projected that this most virulent of all skin cancers develops on the skin of 32,000 Americans annually. And every year, an estimated 6,800 Americans will die from melanoma. Melanoma, unlike its less aggressive cancers, appears in mixed shades of tan, brown and black and have a tendency to spread.
Sun Exposure and Heat Stress FAQs

Q: How many cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the
US this year? 

A: According to the American Cancer Society’s 2008 Facts and Figures over 67,000 cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year. 
 
Q: What is the number one cause of skin cancer?
A: Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the number one cause of skin cancer.  Also note that exposure to sunlight during the winter months puts you at the same risk as exposure during the summertime. 
 
Q: Which type of skin cancer is the most serious?
A: Basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma are less serious and make up 95% of all skin cancers.  These two are also referred to as non-melanoma skin cancers and are highly curable when treated early.  Melanoma, which is the most virulent of all skin cancers affects 32,000 people annually and has a tendency to spread to other organs if left untreated. 
 
Q: What can I do to prevent skin cancer?
A: The sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so be especially careful to protect yourself during those hours.  Limit the amount of time spent in the sun, if you work outside all day take breaks indoors or in the shade if possible.  Use sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor of 15 and apply liberally 20-30 minutes before sun exposure.  Reapply as frequently and as necessary. 
Also, if you can’t avoid being outdoors, wear a lightweight, light colored, tightly woven long sleeved t-shirt and pants.  Don’t forget eye protection and a hat with a brim to protect your face, neck and head.  
 
Q: Is a sunscreen with a higher SPF better? 
A: The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is not an exact science.  Dermatologists tell us that a sunscreen with an SPF of 8 provides 40% protection from UV rays while a SPF of 15 provides 95% protection and a SPF of 30 provides 97 percent.  A SPF of 45 or greater offers no more than 1% more protection than a SPF 30.  
 
Q: What can I do to prevent heat stress?
A: Take time to adjust to the head, especially if you aren’t used to working in hot conditions.  Juggle your workload; if possible do your heaviest work during the coolest parts of the day.  Drink a lot of water before, during and the end of your shift.  Don’t rely on just your thirst to tell you how much water you need, by the time you are thirsty you are already somewhat dehydrated.  A good rule of thumb is to drink one cup of water every 15-20 minutes while you are working. 
 
Q: What is the difference between heat strain, heat exhaustion and heat stroke? 
A: Heat strain is a general term for how the body responds to heat stress.  Heat exhaustion is a physical warning that the body is getting too hot.  The body temperature and pulse may be normal or slightly raised and symptoms are typically headache, nausea, vertigo, weakness, thirst and giddiness.  Employees suffering from heat exhaustion respond quickly to treatment and should be immediately removed from the hot environment, allowed to rest and given fluids. 
Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate temperature and the body temperature rises to critical levels.  The primary symptoms are confusion, irrational behavior, loss of consciousness, lack of or inability to sweat, hot, dry skin and an abnormally high body temperature.  If an employee is showing signs of heat stroke emergency medical attention should be obtained immediately. 


Sun Protection Workwear
Products to Avoid Heat Stress
Sun Protection Headwear
Sunscreen
Product Support

Search Topics

Contact

1-800-874-4755 (closed)

Available Hours

Monday through Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm CST
We're sorry, our
Product Support Line
is Currently Closed
Recently Viewed
 Back to Top
Reference Number: 25WW101
  ©2014 Ariens Specialty Brands LLC