Question

When and how often should workers be encouraged to apply sunscreen?

Answer
By CoreTex Products | Last updated: July 5, 2024
Presented by CoreTex Products

With outdoors workers having triple the risk of getting skin cancer (compared to indoor workers), sun protection is a topic worth talking about. And as warmer weather arrives and outdoor work ramps up, employers need to take steps to ensure their workers are adequately protected against sun-related illnesses and injuries.

 

Sunscreen is, of course, one of the most common defenses against the sun’s potentially harmful UV rays. But a recent survey shows that only about 18 percent of outdoor workers regularly wear it, and there’s a lot of confusion about when workers should be applying and reapplying it while on the job.

We’re going to clear that up.

When to Apply

Workers should apply broad-spectrum sunscreen

Advertisement
(one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays) with an SPF of at least 15 about 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors. This gives it time to soak into the skin.

Workers should pay particular attention to areas that are easily missed, including the top of the head, neck, ears, nose, lips, and hands.

When to Reapply

It’s best to reapply the sunscreen every two hours. Workers who sweat heavily, however, should reapply more often to maintain protection.

Each application should use a liberal amount of sunscreen. Professionals suggest that about an ounce is sufficient to cover the exposed skin of an average person.

How to Encourage Proper Sunscreen Use

Employers can encourage regular sunscreen use among outdoor workers by providing it and allowing time to put it on before beginning work tasks. Having the sunscreen onsite makes it convenient for workers, and giving them time to apply it makes it clear that sun protection is a serious part of workplace health and safety.

Educating workers about the hazards the sun poses and arming them with the tools to mitigate the risk is key to making it through the hot summer with the skin unharmed (see Strengthen Your First Line of Defense to learn more about protecting your skin at work).

Presented By

Logo for CoreTex Products

Share this

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • X

Written by CoreTex Products

CoreTex Products

We offer a complete line of complementary skin care products specially formulated to keep you protected while being outdoors.

This includes everything from sun screen and lip balm to poison ivy barriers & cleansers and insect repellent protection to an antibacterial hand sanitizer. Not only are these products of the highest quality available, they were developed to meet or exceed all government standards including FDA, EPA and O.S.H.A. Our products truly promote skin protection for the outdoors.

More Q&As from our experts

Term of the Day

Transport Emergency Card

Transport Emergency Cards (TREM Cards) are cards that workers must carry with them at all times when transporting dangerous…
Read Full Term

Let's Make Workplaces Safer!

Subscribe to the Safeopedia newsletter to stay on top of current industry trends and up-to-date know-how from subject matter authorities. Our comprehensive online resources are dedicated to safety professionals and decision makers like you.

Resources
Go back to top