Sunburn is when your skin is burned by UV radiation from the sun. Repeated sunburn can cause permanent skin damage and increase the risk of wrinkles, freckles, pigmentation, skin lesions, and cancer – including malignant melanoma.
In Australia, on a summer’s day, sunburn can occur within 15 minutes . By the time signs and symptoms of sunburn appear, skin damage has already occurred.
Farming men, women and agricultural workers are at risk of sunburn as they spend more time working outdoors during peak UV times.
The UV index scale tool is a great way for farmers and ag workers to check when peak UV times are during the day and when they need to be SunSmart. The UV index scale can be accessed by downloading the Sun Smart app on a smart phone or for non-smartphone users – the Bureau of Meteorology website.
To prevent sunburn a combination of sun protection measures are recommended.
Ensure sunscreen 50 + is available in the workshop, work utes and machinery. It is ideal to apply sunscreen 20 minutes before exposure to the sun, as this will allow time for the sunscreen to absorb: reducing dust from sticking to your skin .
To purchase a Broad-spectrum 50+ sunscreen that filters both UVA and UVB radiation. Go to our Safety Shop
Skin damage from sunburn can be mild or severe. If there is blistering near 10% of the body – seek medical advice.
For further information on sunburn treatment
Remember Sunburn prevention is best practice.
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References used for this topic page
Cancer Council Australia
National Health Service (UK)
National Center for Biotechnology Information
Research & reviews:
Medical Journal of Australia
World Health Organization (WHO)
Last updated: 25 February, 2019