Voluntary Benefits

Implementing UV Safety Practices in Outdoor Workplaces

July 20, 2021 | Winston

Ultraviolet (UV) light is a type of electromagnetic radiation primarily found in sun rays. While you may consider UV an essential factor in acquiring your perfect summer tan, the adverse effects of UV damage can last for years to come. Not the least of these effects is skin cancer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it’s estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, making it the most common form of cancer.

With July being UV Safety Awareness Month, we wanted to share the importance of protecting outdoor employees from UV radiation. We also wanted to give more insight into practices and plans employers can implement into their benefits offerings for employees at high risk of UV exposure.

Employees at Risk:

Employees who need the most UV protection at work are outdoor laborers like landscapers, lifeguards, and construction workers. However, civil engineers and police officers can also spend a considerable amount of time in the sun, especially during warmer months.

Preventative Measures:

When dealing with outdoor occupations, UV risk can be challenging to manage. Employers need to make sure they are offering employees the best tools possible to keep them protected. Broadspectrum sunscreen is the most effective way to prevent UV damage since it protects from UVA and UVB, the two most harmful rays. Ensuring each employee has access to sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or above and can re-apply their sunscreen every one to two hours is crucial. 

Umbrellas, tents, and UV protectant clothing are all secondary ways to protect employees throughout the day. If employees are scheduled to work outside for a long time with no easy access to an indoor facility, tents should be readily available to minimize UV risks and heat strokes.

Critical Illness Insurance Plans:

While preventative measures can be beneficial, sometimes they are not enough. For example, sun damage is acquired over a lifetime, and skin cancers brought on by previous exposure may not develop until later in life. If your employees primarily work outside, having a critical illness insurance plan is essential for protecting your long-term workers.

According to an article by Investopedia, critical illness insurance plans were first developed in 1996 when it was realized that surviving a heart attack, stroke, or cancer could leave folks with tremendous debt. Nowadays, many companies offer critical illness plans. While few professions can claim heart attacks and strokes as a side effect of employment, the link between skin cancers like carcinoma and outdoor labor is clear.

Adding critical illness insurance plans to your employees’ benefits can help protect them over time and lower your business’s risk. At Winston, we can help your HR and Benefits departments strategize and execute a critical illness plan, saving you and your employees money and stress.

UV risk may not be the first threat that comes to mind when you think of protecting your employees, but it is one that your workers face daily and, therefore, should be prioritized. Do you need help implementing protective measures and critical illness insurance plans into your benefits package? Our team at Winston can act as your HR ally and simplify the process. Contact us today!


Disclaimer:  This content is strictly informational and should not be used as specific advice on insurance products, legal, accounting, and/or tax related matters. Insureds should always contact the appropriate licensed professional for their insurance, legal, accounting, or tax needs.