Use NAHB Resource to Keep Workers Safe from UV Exposure

Contact: Brad Mannion
[email protected]
Director, Labor, Health & Safety
(202) 266-8265

As NAHB celebrates UV Safety Awareness Month in July, it is important for home builders and general contractors to educate workers about the potential risks associated with ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and have plans and resources in place to keep them safe on the jobsite.

Why UV Awareness Matters

Ultraviolet radiation can come from both natural and artificial sources. The sun is the main source of exposure for most people — and specifically those working in construction. Overexposure to UV radiation can lead to serious health issues, including sunburn, skin cancer, premature aging and eye damage. UV Awareness Month serves as a timely reminder to protect workers against these risks.

Practical Tips for UV and Heat Stress Protection

UV intensity is typically at its strongest as temperatures begin to climb during the summer. Workers can better protect themselves from sun and UV exposure with the following recommendations:

  • Wear sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15 and apply it to all uncovered skin, especially your nose, ears, neck, hands, feet and lips. Reapply every two hours or more often depending on the level of activity.
  • Avoid extensive periods in the sun, seek shade as needed, and limit time in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when UV rays are the most intense.
  • Wear protective clothing that covers your arms and legs. Wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses with UV protection are also crucial.
  • Review the before the beginning of each shift.
  • Avoid artificial UV sources, including tanning beds, lasers, mercury vapor lighting, halogen and fluorescent lighting.
  • Understand basic first aid and heat stress response measures, which can be found in NAHB’s Video Toolbox Talk on heat stress safety and on the .

Spreading Awareness to Workers

Understanding the basics of sun safety can help prevent injuries and illnesses. More information on what employers and workers can do to stay safe can be found in NAHB’s Heat Stress Safety Toolkit.

Additional Resources

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