Sun Safety on the Farm

Saskatchewan farmers face sun exposure on the job

need to know

Sun Safety for Farmers

As outdoor workers, farmers are at an increased risk for skin cancer. While the familiar “farmer’s tan” may be worn with pride as a sign of many hours of hard work, it is also a sign of skin damage from sun exposure faced on the job. Over the years that damage adds up and contributes to an increased risk of skin cancer.

Sun exposure is a serious occupational hazard to be managed like any other hazard on the farm.

It’s not possible to eliminate UV exposure altogether, but farmers can reduce their exposure by adding shade structures to equipment like combines and tractors, and installing clear or tinted UV protective films to windows. Farmers can also practice personal protection to reduce their risk of skin cancer by:


  • Covering up with long sleeved shirts with collars and long pants. Choose breathable fabrics to keep you cool.
  • Wearing a hat that shades your face, head, ears, and neck. Swap your ball-cap for a wide-brimmed hat for better protection.
  • Using sunscreen and lip balm labeled “broad spectrum” and “water resistant” with at least SPF 30.
  • Wearing wrap-around sunglasses when you’re not wearing other forms of protective eyewear.
  • Knowing your skin. If you notice a mole or spot on your skin that is changing, itching, bleeding or growing, see your doctor.