Survey: Employers of outdoor workers should provide sunscreen
Dermatologists strongly recommend the use of sunscreen to reduce exposure to the Ultraviolet (UV) radiation that can cause skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the U.S.
When that exposure occurs on the job, 74 percent of Americans believe businesses with outdoor workers should provide sunscreen for their employees to use while at work – according to a study commissioned by Deb Group, a company that offers a professional range of UV Protection creams. However, 71 percent of outdoor workers are not provided sunscreen by their employers to use at work.
The high cost of skin cancer
Every year, Americans lose more than $100 million in productivity because of restricted activity or absence from work due to skin cancer. Most skin cancers are preventable when best practice is followed, which includes wearing sunscreen when the UV index is three or higher. The 2017 survey also found that beyond the workplace, more than a third of Americans (35 percent) believe that outdoor public facilities, such as public pools and amusement parks, should provide sunscreen for public use.
The survey, conducted online by Harris Poll among 2,057 U.S. adults aged 18 and older, examines the public’s opinions on sunscreen at businesses.
Five sunburns doubles the risk
“Outdoor workers naturally spend more time exposed to UV radiation, putting them at greater risk of sun damage and the potential of developing skin cancers,” said Isabelle Faivre, Vice President of Marketing, Deb North America. “Unfortunately, the dangers of skin cancer in the workplace have often been neglected. Employers have an obligation to minimize the risk of harm to employees. Providing and encouraging sun protection for outdoor workers can help create a healthy and safe workplace.”
On average, by enduring more than five sunburns a person doubles their risk for developing melanoma.
 Pfahlberg A, Kolmel K-F, Gefeller O. Timing of excessive ultraviolet radiation and melanoma: epidemiology does not support the existence of a critical period of high susceptibility to solar ultraviolet radiation-induced melanoma. Brit J Dermatol 2001; 144:3:471-475.
As part of its Be UV Aware campaign, Deb Group offers an Outdoor Workers’ Guide to help employers implement a suitable and successful sun safety policy to protect its workers. Click here to view Deb Group’s video that shines a light on sun protection for outdoor workers with the use of a UV camera.