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1 Risk Management Department Sun & Heat Safety April, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Risk Management Department Sun & Heat Safety April, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Risk Management Department Sun & Heat Safety April, 2008

2 2 Sun and Heat Safety Introduction This training contains information about the risks posed by ultraviolet radiation (UV), the effects of heat and sunlight, and steps you can take to protect yourself from overexposure.

3 3 Sun and Heat Safety Introduction In this training we will cover:  The sun and UV radiation  Hazards of sun exposure  Hazards of heat exposure  Guidelines for protection

4 4 Sun and Heat Safety The Sun and UV Radiation  The sun is the energy source that sustains all life on earth. Ultraviolet Radiation (UV) is simply one form of energy coming from the sun.  Even though you may have only just started hearing about UV and the effects it has on you, it is nothing new.  The effects of sunlight can be dangerous.

5 5 Sun and Heat Safety The Sun and UV Radiation  Even on cloudy or overcast days, UV rays travel through the clouds and reflect off sand, water, and even concrete. Clouds and pollution don't filter out UV rays, and they can give a false sense of protection.  Some clouds can increase the UV intensity on the ground by reflecting and refracting the sun's rays. People can also be caught unawares when a small break in an overcast deck of clouds allows a brief burst of intense radiation to reach the ground.

6 6 Sun and Heat Safety The Sun and UV Radiation  Cold air can also be deceptive as temperature is not directly related to UV intensity.

7 7 Sun and Heat Safety The Sun and UV Radiation  Of course, mere exposure to the sun is not the entire story. The effects are dependent on you, your level of pigmentation, how much of a tan you already have as well as the nature of your skin.  Production of your skin's pigment, or melanin, is stimulated by sun exposure and does reduce your risk of sunburn once you are already tan. Be aware that even dark-skinned individuals can be sunburned and damage their skin with over exposure.  Obviously, fair-skinned individuals need to exercise more caution. You should also be aware that the sun's rays have different intensities at different times of the year.

8 8 Sun and Heat Safety Hazards of Sun Exposure Sunburn  A sunburn develops when the amount of UV exposure is greater than what can be protected against by the skin's melanin. The lighter your skin, the less melanin it has to absorb UV and protect itself. And all skin, no matter what color, responds to continued sun exposure by thickening and hardening, resulting in leathery skin and wrinkles later in life.

9 9 Sun and Heat Safety Hazards of Sun Exposure Sunburn  Unprotected sun exposure is even more dangerous if you have moles on your skin, very fair skin and hair, or a family history of skin cancer, including melanoma.  You should be especially careful about sun protection if you have one or more of these high-risk characteristics.

10 10 Sun and Heat Safety Hazards of Sun Exposure Skin Cancer  According to the American Cancer Society (1999), skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. The incidence of skin cancer is greater than the incidence of breast, lung, prostate, colorectal, and kidney cancers combined.  In the United States, about 1.3 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year.

11 11 Sun and Heat Safety Hazards of Sun Exposure Skin Cancer  More than one million new cases of basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma are detected each year.  47,000 new cases of malignant melanoma are diagnosed each year.  Each year skin cancer will claim the lives of approximately 9,800 people.

12 12 Sun and Heat Safety Hazards of Sun Exposure Skin Cancer  Exposure to UV radiation appears to be the most important environmental factor in the development of skin cancer.  Skin cancer is a largely preventable disease. Exposure to UV radiation may be the most important preventable factor in determining a person's risk for skin cancer.

13 13 Sun and Heat Safety Hazards of Sun Exposure Eye Damage  Sunlight is the primary source of UV radiation that can damage tissues of the eye.  Spending long hours in the sun without eye protection increases the chances of developing eye diseases, including cataracts.

14 14 Sun and Heat Safety Hazards of Sun Exposure Eye Damage  Excess exposure to UV radiation may increase the incidence of cataracts. Cataracts are a form of eye damage that causes the loss of transparency in the lens, clouding vision.  Another potential effect of UV radiation is a "burning" of the eye surface, called "snow blindness" or photokeratitis from sunlight. The effects usually disappear within a couple of days, but may lead to further complications later in life.

15 15 Sun and Heat Safety Hazards of Sun Exposure Photo Aging/Wrinkling  Chronic overexposure to the sun changes the texture and weakens the elastic properties of the skin. The epidermis, which is the outer layer of the skin, thickens, becomes leathery, and wrinkles as a result of sun exposure.  Sun-induced skin damage causes wrinkles and furrows, easy bruising, brown or "liver spots", precancerous lesions (actinic keratoses), and potentially skin cancer.

16 16 Sun and Heat Safety Hazards of Heat Exposure  High temperatures and humidity stress the body's ability to cool itself, and heat illness becomes a special concern during hot weather.  There are three major forms of heat illnesses: Heat cramps Heat exhaustion Heat stroke

17 17 Sun and Heat Safety Hazards of Heat Exposure Heat Cramps  Heat cramps are muscle spasms which usually affect the arms, legs, or stomach. Frequently they don't occur until sometime later after work, at night, or when relaxing.  Heat cramps are caused by heavy sweating, especially when water is replaced by drinking, but not salt or potassium. Although heat cramps can be quite painful, they usually don't result in permanent damage.

18 18 Sun and Heat Safety Hazards of Heat Exposure Heat Exhaustion  Heat exhaustion is more serious than heat cramps. It occurs when the body's internal air-conditioning system is overworked, but hasn't completely shut down.  In heat exhaustion, the surface blood vessels and capillaries which originally enlarged to cool the blood collapse from loss of body fluids and necessary minerals. This happens when you don't drink enough fluids to replace what you are sweating away.

19 19 Sun and Heat Safety Hazards of Heat Exposure Heat Exhaustion  The symptoms of heat exhaustion include: headache, heavy sweating, intense thirst, dizziness, fatigue, loss of coordination, nausea, impaired judgment, loss of appetite, hyperventilation, tingling in hands or feet, anxiety, cool moist skin, weak and rapid pulse ( ), and low to normal blood pressure.

20 20 Sun and Heat Safety Hazards of Heat Exposure Heat Exhaustion  Somebody suffering these symptoms should be moved to a cool location such as a shaded area or air-conditioned building. Have them lie down with their feet slightly elevated. Loosen their clothing, apply cool, wet cloths or fan them. Have them drink water or electrolyte drinks. Try to cool them down, and have them checked by medical personnel. Victims of heat exhaustion should avoid strenuous activity for at least a day, and they should continue to drink water to replace lost body fluids.

21 21 Sun and Heat Safety Hazards of Heat Exposure Heat Stroke  Heat stroke is a life threatening illness that occurs when the body has depleted its supply of water and salt, and the victim's body temperature rises to deadly levels.  A heat stroke victim may first suffer heat cramps and/or the heat exhaustion before progressing into the heat stroke stage, but this is not always the case.

22 22 Sun and Heat Safety Hazards of Heat Exposure Heat Stroke  On the job, heat stroke is sometimes mistaken for heart attack.  Symptoms include a high body temperature (103 degrees F); a distinct absence of sweating (usually); hot red or flushed dry skin; rapid pulse; difficulty breathing; constricted pupils; any/all the signs or symptoms of heat exhaustion such as dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, or confusion, but more severe; bizarre behavior; and high blood pressure. Advanced symptoms may be seizure or convulsions, collapse, loss of consciousness, and a body temperature of over 108° F.

23 23 Sun and Heat Safety Hazards of Heat Exposure Heat Stroke  It is vital to lower a heat stroke victim's body temperature. Seconds count. Pour water on them, fan them, or apply cold packs. Call 911 and get an ambulance on the way as soon as possible.

24 24 Sun and Heat Safety Guidelines for Protection Avoid being in the sun for prolonged times when it is highest overhead and therefore the strongest (normally from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM).

25 25 Sun and Heat Safety Guidelines for Protection Eye Protection  Sunglasses offer excellent protection for your eyes. Like your skin, your eyes are at risk of damage and trauma if exposed to too much UV radiation.  Wear sunglasses that ensure lenses block at least 95% of UV radiation.

26 26 Sun and Heat Safety Guidelines for Protection Eye Protection  If you wear corrective lenses, add UV-protective coating or obtain prescription sunglasses if you spend significant periods outside.  You can buy protective shades to attach to your glasses or sunglasses that you can wear over your corrective lenses.

27 27 Sun and Heat Safety Guidelines for Protection Skin Protection  Sunscreen is used to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet radiation or 'UV'. When choosing a sunscreen that will protect you, there are a few things you should know:  No sunscreen offers 100% protection from the sun’s damaging UV. Even with sunscreen, UV will still get through to the fragile upper and lower layers of your skin.

28 28 Sun and Heat Safety Guidelines for Protection Skin Protection  Sunscreen should always be used in conjunction with other forms of protection like hats, sunglasses, clothing and shade.  Sun protection factor (SPF) 30+ sunscreen offers you maximum protection from the sun, blocking out 96% of UV. SPF 15+ will block out 93%.

29 29 Sun and Heat Safety Guidelines for Protection Skin Protection  For sunscreen to be effective at protecting you from sunburn, put it on 20 minutes before going outside. This gives the protective elements in sunscreen time to bond to your skin.  Don’t rub it in--a light film should stay visible. Remember to reapply every two hours or more regularly if sweating a lot.

30 30 Sun and Heat Safety Guidelines for Protection Protective Clothing  Appropriately designed clothing is great for protecting you from the sun. Choose clothes that cover the arms, legs and neck to ensure you are properly protected.  You won’t get hot or uncomfortable if you choose lightweight fabrics like cotton or linen. The tests on clothing show that most polyester/cotton and cotton clothing items protect against 95% of ultraviolet radiation or 'UV'.

31 31 Sun and Heat Safety Guidelines for Protection Protective Clothing  Some factors can reduce the UV protection of your clothing. If your clothing gets wet, fades or is a few years old, its ability to shade against UV will be reduced.  If you are looking for very high sun protective clothing - for outdoor work, - choose dark colors, as they are better at absorbing UV than light colors.

32 32 Sun and Heat Safety Guidelines for Protection Heat  Anyone can suffer a heat illness, but by taking a few simple precautions, they can be prevented:  Condition yourself for working in hot environments - start slowly then build up to more physical work. Allow your body to adjust over a few days.

33 33 Sun and Heat Safety Guidelines for Protection Heat  Drink lots of liquids. Don't wait until you're thirsty, by then, there's a good chance you're already on your way to being dehydrated. Electrolyte drinks are good for replacing both water and minerals lost through sweating. Never drink alcohol, and avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee and pop.  Take a break if you notice you are getting a headache or you start feeling overheated. Cool off for a few minutes before going back to work.

34 34 Sun and Heat Safety You are finished! You have finished the Sun and Heat Safety training. Download the quiz from the Risk Management website’s training page. Print the form and be sure to write your name, location and employee number in the spaces provided. Complete the ten questions and have your supervisor send it to the Risk Management office


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