How to Prevent the Hazards of UV Radiation
Although ultraviolet (UV) radiation can come from a number of sources, the sun is the most common. Excessive exposure to UV radiation is known to cause problems like skin cancer, sunburns, eye irritation and even blindness. As such, people working with UV-emitting devices like welders, arc lights, water filtration systems and tanning beds must take the necessary precautions to safeguard themselves from excessive exposure.
How Does UV Exposure Occur?
Quite a number of occupations carry the risk of UV exposure. People working in outdoor jobs in sectors like construction, farming, and road maintenance fall under this category. But indoor workers aren’t immune from exposure; those who work in foundries, health facilities, and tanning salons are also at a high risk.
Because every individual has unique traits, response to UV radiation will vary significantly across the population. While a number of people can withstand short-term exposure with no noticeable consequences, others may not be so lucky. Skin cancer is one of the biggest risks of short-term exposure. Additionally, people with light-colored hair, eyes and skin as well as those who stay in the sun for long durations are more prone to skin cancer. Other factors that raise the vulnerability include the use of medication that raises sensitivity to UV light.
Reducing the Risk of Exposure
For starters, familiarize yourself with the outdoor UV index, to know when the sun’s ultraviolet radiation levels are high. During such periods, it’s crucial to avoid working outdoors (if possible) or reduce the time spent working in the sun.
You should always make use of UV protection, even when it’s cloudy or foggy. Although air temperature sinks when the sun is blocked by haze, fog or clouds, these things won’t block dangerous UV rays. Additionally, working in environments containing sand, water or concrete will increase exposure. This is due to the reflection of the rays by these elements.
How to Make Occupations Safer
Around the workplace, there are certain measures to take to minimize exposure. Wear sunscreen and work in the shade, if possible. Raise the awareness of your employees and help them to avoid the sun’s harmful rays when the UV index is high. Although UV rays can penetrate clothing hats, sunglasses, long pants and long sleeve shirts can help protect a person from the sun as well.
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