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Don’t let the job get under your skin

It’s that time of year again where barbecues, baseball games, trips to the beach and spending time outdoors are in full effect. But we understand that you, as an HVAC/R technician, may spend a majority of your day outside working before you even get to have a little rest and relaxation. Sure, the warm sun can feel great to your skin, but even the slightest burn can have longtime damaging effects to your body.

There are a number of factors that can contribute to sun damage. In addition, sun damage can lead to cosmetic changes in your skin, such as premature aging, wrinkles and discoloration. It can also lead to more serious conditions, like skin cancer. To help prevent skin cancer, when working outside, remember to apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater 30 minutes before sun exposure and every two hours thereafter. Also, if possible select clothing that offers UV protection. Be sure to protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses with total UV protection. A wide-brimmed hat can also help to shade your face and neck. We know it’s not possible in every job situation, but if you can, avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible during peak UV radiation hours (between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.).

Just as it is important to protect yourself from the sun, it is also imperative that you stay hydrated during the dog days of summer. Water keeps the body from overheating. The best way to beat dehydration is to drink before you are thirsty. If you wait until after you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Signs of possible dehydration include fatigue, loss of appetite, flushed skin, heat intolerance, light-headedness and dry cough. If you suspect that someone is dehydrated, seek immediate medical attention.

Stay cool out there!

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