The sun's rays are strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. These also happen to be peak working hours for much of the year. UV radiation is, on average, 3 or higher on the UV Index during the months of March through October in Colorado. Experts recommend sun protection be required when the UV Index is 3 (moderate) or higher1. When possible, try to schedule outdoor work before or after this time. When it isn't possible to schedule work outside of peak hours, make sure that all employees are using other sun protection measures.
To minimize UV exposure during peak UV times:
- Advise supervisors and outdoor workers to wear extra protection when the UV Index is 6 or above.
- Adopt a worksite policy to encourage alternative tasks or work duties during high UV times.
- Disseminate tips for scheduling time outside in a sun safe way.
- Whenever possible, try to reschedule outdoor jobs and projects in areas with high sun exposure for early morning or late afternoon.
1 UV, Vitamin D and Health Key Messages. North American Conference on UV, Vitamin D and Health. March 8, 2006.
Global Solar UV Index: A Practical Guide. World Health Organization. 2002.
An easy way to know the UV intensity you face daily is to check the UV Index. The UV Index is a joint effort between the National Weather Service and the Environmental Protection Agency. It provides a daily forecast of the expected intensity of the sun for numerous U.S. cities. The Index predicts UV intensity on a scale of 0 to 11+, where 0 means minimal risk and 11+ means an extreme risk of overexposure. It is published online and on the weather page of many daily newspapers.