Department of Ergonomics - Projects
Projects List

Studying the influence of natural UV radiation on the incidence of negative health effects in persons working at outdoor workstations, and developing relevant preventive measures

Project manager: Elżbieta Łastawiecka Ph.D.

Project summary:

The task consisted in developing a questionnaire for studying occupational risk and the negative health effects that could be related to exposure to natural UV radiation. A questionnaire survey was administered in selected occupational groups. 302 men (mean age 37.22 years) took part in the survey. They represented 10 occupational groups, of which over 70% were carpenters and road workers. The subjects had worked on average 12 years exposed to natural UV radiation and were exposed to this factor on average 8.9 hours during a workday. Over 60% of subjects had phototype II and III skin, i.e. they had medium or even high natural protection against UV radiation. Over 80% of workers declared they were aware of the health hazards related to exposure to UV radiation, whereas under 70% had been informed by the OSH services about occupational risk related to work that involved exposure to natural UV radiation. In the group of workers at outdoor workstations, two other kinds of tests were also conducted: screening skin tests that were aimed at assessing the condition of the skin occupationally exposed to UV radiation (300 persons) and specialist dermatological tests, which aimed at diagnosing diseases related to exposure to natural UV radiation in 120 men selected from the 300 who had previously been screened. The results of both the screening tests and the specialist dermatological and ophthalmological tests showed negative health effects related to the skin and eyesight in the group of subjects occupationally exposed to natural UV radiation, who belonged to various occupational groups. The most serious of those were precancerous changes in the skin (sun-related cornification) and cataracts. It also turned out that few workers used protection against UV radiation.

Unit: Department of Ergonomics

Duration: 01.01.2008 – 30.12.2010