I work outdoors all day in the sunshine. Is this safe?

Outdoor workers exposed to high temperatures and the sun for long periods are at risk of sunstroke, sunburn and heat exhaustion. Sunstroke or heatstroke is more likely when heavy physical work is being done. To avoid these effects:

  • working hours should be kept short;
  • clothing, including protective clothing, should not be tight and restricting, and should allow body heat to escape;
  • plenty of rest periods in a cool place should be taken; and
  • cool, clean water should be provided for frequent drinks. It is important to replace water lost through sweating.

Exposure to excessive sunlight can cause skin rashes or skin burns. Ultraviolet radiation in sunlight can also cause skin cancer. Fair-skinned people who do not develop a suntan quickly, are most at risk. Avoid excessive exposure to sun by covering bare skin with lightweight material and taking frequent rest breaks in the shade. Sun protection creams may also help.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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