For a few months of the year, the weather in Michigan heats up, and it can be quite uncomfortable for the men and women who have to work outdoors. During the summer months, outdoor workers face exposure to various types of safety risks and health concerns. Sun exposure and heat-related illnesses are serious, and employers should do everything possible to help workers stay safe.

One of the threats you may face to your physical well-being is the risk of overexposure to the sun. Over time, this can increase your risk of developing skin cancer. If you have to work outdoors as part of your job requirements, you will want to find out more about the risks of exposure and steps you can take to stay as safe as reasonably possible while at your job.

Are you at risk?

Even if you do not work outdoors all the time or you have periods where your job does not take you outside, it is still smart to be aware of the times you may be at risk. The workers who are most likely to develop skin cancer include the following: 

  • People who sweat a lot, as this can reduce the effectiveness of sunscreen and increase the photosensitivity of the skin
  • People who spend a lot of time working in the sun or outside
  • People who work on surfaces that are reflective and can cause UV rays to bounce off

Melanoma and other types of skin disease are illnesses to take seriously. Many people are unaware they are at risk, and in some cases, they are unaware of the specific ways they can make their jobs safer. Some of these things include the following:

  • Remembering that sun exposure can happen even when it is cloudy outside
  • Avoiding the sun’s rays during the heat of the summer
  • Wearing protective clothing when working outside, including long sleeves
  • Applying sunscreen often 

A few simple steps can make your work safer and decrease the chance that you will develop skin cancer down the road or suffer from the ill effects of long-term sun exposure. If you do become ill as a result of your job, you have the right to pursue benefits through a workers’ compensation claim. This can allow you to get medical care, recover some lost wages and get the specific types of help you need to get better and move forward.