OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Trade News Release
Thursday, July 6, 2000
Contact: Susan Fleming or Jennifer Gauck
PHONE: (202) 693-1999
OSHA RECOMMENDS PROTECTIVE MEASURES FOR OUTDOOR WORKERS EXPOSED TO UV RADIATION
To help protect outdoor workers exposed to sunlight, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued suggestions to safeguard employees from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
OSHA's pocket card on harmful sun exposure recommends that workers who spend time outdoors protect themselves from UV radiation by wearing protective clothing that does not transmit visible light; broad-brimmed hats that protect the face, ears and neck; and UV ray-blocking sunglasses. Workers also should frequently apply sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor of 15 or higher, and seek shade, if possible, when the sun's intensity is at its peak-between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Sunlight is the main source of UV radiation, which can cause eye damage, premature aging of the skin, and skin cancers, such as melanoma. Melanoma accounts for more than three-fourths of skin cancer-related deaths each year, though most skin cancers can be cured if detected early enough. Skin cancers and deaths resulting from melanoma are increasing rapidly in the U.S. even though fewer cases of most other cancers are being reported.
Unprotected employees working in sunlight risk exposure to UV radiation. Outdoor workers with fair skin and hair, freckles, or numerous or irregular moles are especially susceptible to sun damage. Even a few serious sunburns can increase the risk of skin cancer.
The pocket card is not a new standard or regulation, and it creates no legal obligations. It is advisory in nature, informational in content, and is intended to provide safety advice to outdoor workers.
The pocket card is available at the OSHA website (www.osha.gov) under publications or from the OSHA Publications Office, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3101, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, D.C., 20210. Further information is also available from the American Cancer Society website (www.cancer.org) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website (www.cdc.gov/ChooseYourCover).
The text of this news release is on the World Wide Web at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this news release will be made available to sensory-impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.
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