Why Construction Workers Should Wear Long Sleeve PPE
Q: Why do I have to wear long sleeve PPE? A: You should wear long sleeve PPE for maximum sun protection. It is company policy. It is also becoming a construction industry standard.
Q: But I didn't have to wear it on the last job...? A: This is not "the last job". This is a new project/site and long sleeve PPE forms part of the minimum PPE requirements.
Q: But if I wear long sleeve PPE, how am I supposed to get a tan? A: You are here to work. This is a construction site, not a beauty parlor or tanning salon.
Q: Well, on the weekend I may go to the beach and get sunburnt because I have to stay in the sun longer since I can't get a tan during the week... A: What you do on the weekend is up to you, however at work the company policy (and your condition of employment that you agreed to by working here) is to wear long sleeve PPE.
Q: How about if we sign a petition that the company is not liable if we get skin cancer. Then can we wear short sleeves? A: No, it doesn't work that way. By law, it is a duty of care requirement for both parties. The company's duty of care is to ensure it is putting policies and systems in place to ensure the employee is safe at work. The employee's duty of care is to comply with these procedures to ensure their safety.
Q: But I wear sunscreen... A: That is great, however you still need to wear long sleeve PPE! Sunscreen is a good form of sun protection against UV light that is reflected from the ground or against concrete surfaces. It is a good secondary protection precaution where UV is not reflected on your hat or high viz clothing.
Q: It's too hot to wear long sleeve PPE. A: You will actually find that when the sun does not hit your skin directly it is in fact much cooler to wear long sleeve PPE.
Q: Can I roll my sleeves up? A: Some companies may allow this, however logically wearing long sleeve PPE and rolling the sleeves up is similar to wearing short sleeve PPE and therefore not acceptable.