The Sun Exposure in Outdoor Workers Project is looking for workplaces with outdoor workers to participate in a new study led by CAREX Canada’s co-Principal Investigator Dr. Cheryl Peters. The project will measure solar UVR exposure in outdoor workers in Alberta, the first study of its kind in the province.
Skin cancer rates are rising in Canada, and exposure to the sun, or solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR), can increase the risk. CAREX Canada estimates that 225,000 Albertans are exposed at work, with large numbers of workers in construction and farming industries. Outdoor workers experience higher exposures to solar UVR than most people, but it is unknown exactly what those levels are in Alberta.
The goal of the project is to discover what the typical solar UVR exposure levels are in the Albertan summer for outdoor workers. We will be able to identify peak exposure times, and learn more about how outdoor workers are protecting themselves from the sun when they’re at work.
The team is selecting worksites now and ongoing into the summer as needed, and the study will take place throughout the summer months. Results from the study will be shared in late 2019.
Participating workers will need to:
- Fill out a short questionnaire about time spent in the sun and how they protect themselves, and learn how to use the UV dosimeter (maximum 1 hour)
- Wear a small, lightweight, and noiseless UV dosimeter every day of the study (a 5-day workweek or approximately 40 hours)
Dr. Peters, the lead Research Scientist for the project, has conducted several studies of solar UVR exposure in outdoor workers. The project is being coordinated and conducted by Brandon Leong, CIH, a Certified Industrial Hygienist with over 7 years of consulting experience in the health and safety industry.
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As a national organization, our work extends across borders into many Indigenous lands throughout Canada. We gratefully acknowledge that our host institution, the University of British Columbia Point Grey campus, is located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people.