Working outside and enjoying the outdoors increases your sun exposure and the need for sun protection. And while a bright sunny day seems harmless, there are also dangers and risks if you are not safe. This includes heat exhaustion, sunburn, and even cancer. Take the necessary steps to stay safe and create a healthy relationship with the sun.
Make Sun Safety Easy
First of all, identify potential risks. Sun protection and heat safety gear are as important as wearing a hard hat on a construction site. Therefore, start your day with sunscreen. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF. This will protect you against harmful UVA and UVB rays. And over time, ultraviolet rays have the potential to give you more than a painful sunburn. Prolonged exposure creates wrinkles, sunspots, and even the risk of skin cancer.
Also, consider your daily activities and schedule the safest time to be outside. The sun’s damaging effects are highest from late morning until late afternoon. And cloudy days do not offer much protection, as sunburns can still occur. Reduce the amount of exposed skin by wearing long sleeves, hats, and light colors that reflect light. And eye protection from sunglasses reduces glare and protects you from solar radiation.
Grab the Shades
Because safety glasses and sunglasses are not all made equal, let’s focus on key features that offer the most protection. Safety sunglasses for job sites should meet ANSI Z87.1 safety ratings. And even off the job site, look for lenses that provide 100% UVA and UVB protection. They should have a secure facial fit that wraps around your eyes. Always go for function over style. Luckily, there are thousands of safety sunglasses in styles for men and women. This includes polarized, bifocal, mirror, and anti-fog lenses.
Most of all, wear polarized safety sunglasses. While not tied to enhanced UV protection, polarized lenses reduce glare. So on bright sunny days, the light that reflects off smooth surfaces like road pavement, water, or even snow won’t distort your vision. Enjoy improved clarity and color correctness. And there are sunglasses like the CrossFire ES5. The sporty eyewear has polarized HD lenses that allow only 18% of light to pass through.
Head & Shoulders
While sunglasses help reduce light exposure to your eyes, head protection is also important. And something as simple as wearing a hat can reduce the risk of sunburn. Wear baseball caps, visors, and styles that have cooling properties. Ranger style hats with neck shades also extend to protect your shoulders. Hi-vis colors and silver reflective tape make some safety hats ANSI class rated. And on the job site opt for a full brim or vented style hard hat. Full brim hard hats offer 360-degree protection. Vented hard hats provide cooling airflow and heat relief. There are also hard hat sun protection accessories like shades and sun shields.
Another upper-body sun and heat protection tool are ones that use reusable evaporative cooling. And this includes things like cooling wraps, bandanas, towels, and performance caps. Evaporative cooling uses PVA material. When activated with cold water, it retains cooling properties for several hours as it evaporates. And there are series like the Ergodyne Chill-Its, OccuNomix MiraCool, and PIP EZ-Cool. Enjoy sun protection and long-lasting heat relief. This is ideal for yard work, sports, construction, and recreational activities.
Dress for Success
And as simple as it sounds, what you wear can have a big impact on your sun protection. Wear clothing that keeps the sun off of as much exposed skin as possible. Choose long sleeve shirts, pants instead of shorts, and lightweight breathable fabrics. Natural fiber materials like cotton and linen help absorb sweat and allow for airflow. And stay cool on the construction site with mesh safety vests. Cooling vests use a variety of techniques to keep you comfortable and reduce the risk of heat exhaustion. This includes evaporative material, polymers, and charge packs.
In conclusion, stay smart when it comes to sun protection. Wear clothing that covers exposed skin, wear a hat, and always start the day with at least 30 SPF sunscreen. And don’t forget sunglasses that help block UVA and UVB rays. Enjoy the outdoors, but do it responsibly.