Roofing contractors in the Sunshine State are at an increased risk of developing skin cancer in an industry that is already fraught with danger. Unfortunately, the long hours that roofing contractors spend in direct sunlight is the perfect catalyst for skin cancer. In this brief article, a roofing lawyer in Florida will be discussing how roofers are at risk of developing skin cancer and how contractors must take steps to provide their workers with the tools to prevent unprotected sun exposure.
A Greater Risk of Skin Cancer
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun causes DNA damage that can lead to melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. Those most at risk of developing skin cancer are older males with fair skin; blond, red, or light brown hair; and numerous freckles or moles. If you take a look around your roofing site, you may notice a lot of your roofers share these characteristics. However, it’s important to note that anyone can get skin cancer, regardless of their age, race, or gender.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Skin Cancer?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that laborers working in sunlight apply sunscreen of at least SPF 15 and wear tightly-woven clothing, UV-absorbant sunglasses, and broad-brimmed hats. In areas where hardhats are required, attachments can be utilized to protect a roofing contractor’s face, ears, and neck. OSHA does not directly require employers to provide these items; however, contractors are required to provide their workers with a hazard-free work environment. A contractor may be investigated and fined by OSHA for not providing their roofers with the above personal protective equipment (PPE).
In addition to providing PPE, contractors can also plan work schedules around the hottest parts of the day, which are between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If this isn’t possible, shade can be provided and frequent breaks should be allowed to limit direct sun exposure. Contractors can also teach their employees the importance of self-examination and how to spot melanoma and potentially cancerous sores.
For Further Clarification
As we mentioned, OSHA regulations stipulate that an employer must provide a hazard-free work environment, but does not have specific regulations regarding worker exposure to solar radiation. This can obviously put contractors in a bind when trying to figure out the extent to which they are required to provide protection for their workers. For clarification and questions regarding OSHA regulations and how to keep your workers safe on hot summer days, consult with a roofing attorney in Florida.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.