Health: Skin cancer, general notes.

 

There are 3 types of UV radiation UV-A, UV-B and UV-C. The latter, UV-C does not harm our skin as we are protected from this by the earth’s ozone layer. UV-A and UV-B can cause harm when we are outdoors and exposed to the sun. UV-B cannot penetrate glass which means that long hours working behind glass will not expose us to harmful UV-B rays. Unfortunately though, UV-A does penetrate glass and it is this which we must protect ourselves and our staff against. As an employer, we have a duty of care to ensure staff are not exposed to such risks. It should also be noted that UV-A will not cause sunburn which is often incorrectly used as an indicator of UV exposure. Sadly, this means that prolonged exposure to UV-A may not be treated as a concern. We ask all employers to consider for how many hours are staff are exposed to harmful UV-A radiation? What are the long-term consequences of that exposure and for minimal expenditure, why not consider Sola-Cure blinds that have been tested and reject at least 99% of UV rays.

 

 

Skin

  • UV-B causes sunburn. UV-A does not but crucially it does penetrate deeper into the skin.
  • Skin damage is accumulative throughout a lifetime and cannot be reversed
  • UV-B is partially absorbed by the ozone layer, UV-A is not.
  • Intensity of UV-B rays varies depending on the season, time of day, latitude and altitude. Intensity of UV-A rays is not affected so much by these variables.
  • Temperature does not affect UV intensity. Exposure in winter can be just as damaging as in summer
  • Light clouds and haze do not protect against UV exposure. A heavy overcast prevents most UVB exposure but only about 50 percent of UVA exposure
  • Reflection of UV radiation from light surfaces such as sand, water, concrete, and snow can damage your skin. A beach umbrella may provide as little as 50 percent protection from UV radiation due to reflection from sand.

 

Eyes

  • UV-A rays can pass through the cornea and reach the lens and retina inside the eye.
  • Exposure to UV-A has been linked to the development of certain type of cataracts.
  • Further research suggests a link between UV-A exposure and macular degeneration.
  • Even in the shade of a wheelhouse or office, eyes can be exposed to UV by reflection off the water or other surfaces.

 

 

Safety: Navigational

 

Visibility when sailing towards the sun can be extremely challenging when glare prevents the skipper from focusing on the job in hand. This can affect decision making and even obscure hazards in water or on land. In a busy harbour or confined space, a skipper’s view may be impaired by direct and reflected sunlight. This may be worse in winter months in the northern hemisphere when the sun is at its lowest position.

Furthermore, prolonged exposure to the sun will cause squinting and an inability to focus on the task. This compromises the skipper’s concentration levels and in addition to risks of personal injury, place other crew and the vessel itself at risk to damage.

 

Sola-Cure blinds are an inexpensive item that provides those in the wheelhouse with a clear view of their surroundings, allowing them to avoid potentially catastrophic hazards. Tests have shown that our blinds reduce glare by up to 97%, depending on the film colour selected.

 

  • Protect the crew
  • Protect the vessel

 

Safety: Visibility of monitors

 

The sun does not just impair visibility from the wheelhouse or bridge, out to sea. Glare from the sun also affects visibility of critical instrumentation on board. This critical information needs to be accessible always to crew members.

With Sola-Cure blinds installed, glare from the sun is reduced by up to 97% and this allows the crew full visibility of all instrumentation on board, always.

The cost of blinds is a fraction of the electronic navigation and operational equipment on board. We would always recommend the use of anti-glare blinds to maximise the usefulness of that investment in equipment.