For those that work outside all day, every day, the importance of sun safety cannot be emphasized enough. Over-exposure to the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet rays can not only cause sunburn, but lasting skin damage that could lead to skin cancer.
To protect its employees the St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (SLELO PRISM), hosted by The Nature Conservancy, has partnered with Oswego County Opportunities (OCO) Cancer Prevention in Action program (CPiA) to establish a sun safety policy.
SLELO PRISM works to combat the spread of invasive species and mitigate associated threats through an integrated approach to invasive species management with an emphasis on prevention, early detection, rapid response, education, and outreach.
“When we heard of OCO’s Cancer Prevention in Action program we were very interested in creating a sun safety policy for our staff,” said SLELO PRISM Aquatic Restoration and Resiliency Coordinator Brittney Rogers. “With the majority of our working hours spent outside we have always encouraged our staff to wear SPF clothing and sunblock. Having a policy, and additional training focusing on the importance of cancer prevention, helps bring this information to light and empower them to change their behaviors to protect themselves, creating a healthy and safe workforce.”
Along with helping SLELO PRISM establish a sun safety policy, OCO Cancer Prevention in Action program provided them with sunscreen and SPF lip balm.
“A summer job on the water is the dream of many but there are also hazards,” said Watercraft Inspection Steward Sam Verbeck. “We must be where the boaters are and that is in the sunshine. Two of the items we were supplied with were sunscreen and lip balm and I was happy to see it. Thanks to the CPiA program and SLELO PRISM for emphasizing the importance of sun safety and I wasn't sunburned all summer.”
In addition to sunblock and lip balm, SLELO PRISM received an EZ-Up tent to provide shade for its employees.
“Our new SPF EZ-Up tent is instrumental in protecting me and other staff while we’re working in the outdoors sharing information about invasive species. Knowing we are keeping our skin safe means less worry and more fun at work!” said SLELO PRISM Education and Outreach Coordinator Megan Pistolese.
OCO’s Cancer Prevention in Action program works to educate the community on the importance of sun safety. The program focuses on policies that serve as catalysts for environmental changes and educating community members on what they can do to prevent cancer.
“The CPiA program gave us an opportunity to further protect our staff from exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, while we protect our lands and waters from the impacts of invasive species. I’m thankful to OCO for working with us on developing our sun safety policy,” added Rogers.
“I’m pleased that we were able to help SLELO PRISM develop a sun safety policy,” said OCO Coordinator of Community Health Leanna Cleveland. “Sun safety is paramount in preventing skin cancer and melanoma. I encourage any business or organization that whose employees spend a considerable time outdoors to reach out to me at 315-592-0827 for information on importance of sun safety and establishing a sun safety policy at its workplace.”