Feb 2024 05
Stay SunSmart: Comprehensive Guide to Outdoor Worker Safety
Stay SunSmart: Comprehensive Guide to Outdoor Worker Safety

Stay SunSmart: Comprehensive Guide to Outdoor Worker Safety

Stay SunSmart: Comprehensive Guide to Outdoor Worker Safety

In Australia, where the sun reigns supreme, the health and safety of our workforce, particularly those under the open sky, is a priority at Rokon. Given our nation’s high skin cancer rates, it’s imperative to adopt a holistic approach to sun protection. This includes not only embracing the Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, and Slide mantra but also understanding the nuances of sunscreen selection and application.

The Stark Reality of Skin Cancer

With over 17,000 Australians diagnosed with skin cancer annually and the disease costing our healthcare system more than $700 million each year, the need for rigorous sun protection measures is undeniable. Occupational exposure further heightens the risk, making a solid SunSmart strategy crucial for outdoor workers.

The SunSmart Strategy: Beyond the Basics

The Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, and Slide message is foundational, yet the effectiveness of these actions hinges on understanding and correctly using sunscreen as part of your daily protection routine.

  1. Slip on protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
  2. Slop on broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  3. Slap on a hat that provides ample shade to the face, neck, and ears.
  4. Seek shade whenever possible, particularly during the peak UV times.
  5. Slide on sunglasses that comply with Australian Standards for UV protection.

Decoding SPF: Selection and Application

  • Choosing the Right SPF: Select a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. The SPF number indicates the level of protection against UVB radiation, responsible for sunburn and skin cancer. Broad-spectrum sunscreens also protect against UVA rays, which can prematurely age the skin.
  • Application Tips: For effective protection, apply sunscreen generously 20 minutes before sun exposure. Use about one teaspoon each for your arms, legs, torso, and face and neck, totalling approximately 35mL for a full body application. Reapply every two hours, or more frequently if swimming, sweating, or towel drying.
  • Water Resistance: Even water-resistant sunscreens need reapplication every two hours and after water activities. Remember, no sunscreen is entirely waterproof.
  • Key Takeaways for Effective Sun Protection
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Integrating protective clothing, hats, and shade-seeking with diligent sunscreen use offers the best defence against UV radiation.
  • Smart SPF Use: Understanding and correctly applying sunscreen enhances its effectiveness in preventing skin damage.
  • Stay Updated: Keep informed about the UV index and adjust your sun protection measures accordingly.

At Rokon, we’re committed to safeguarding our team from the sun’s harmful effects through education and the promotion of comprehensive sun protection strategies. By adhering to the Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide approach and employing smart sunscreen practices, we can significantly reduce the risk of skin cancer among our outdoor workers.

Together, let’s embrace these protective measures to ensure a healthier, safer working environment under the Australian sun.