Introduction Excessive exposure to solar UV radiation is a relevant risk factor for outdoor workers, inducing various acute and chronic adverse health effects. In particular chronic exposure can cause skin and eye cancer mainly by DNA mutations induction (e.g. in the p53 tumour suppressor gene and telomerase gene) and immunosuppression. The protection of the worker against sickness, disease and injury arising out of employment is one of the tasks assigned to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in the Preamble of its Constitution: the protection against risks from UV exposure falls naturally within these tasks. The ILO uses various means of action to give governments and employers’ and workers’ organisations the necessary help in drawing up and implementing programmes for the control of workplace risk factors, including solar UV, as international standards in the form of legal instruments, codes of practice, practical manuals, training materials and education and training and technical cooperation. Examples are the Safety and Health in Agriculture Convention (No. 184) and Recommendation (No. 192), and the List of Occupational Diseases Recommendation (No. 194). Specific sections devoted to UV protection are included in the ILO codes of practice on Safety and Health in Agricultural Work, and on Ambient Factors in the Workplace. The ILO also produces guidance documents in collaboration with the ICNIRP and the WHO on workplace UV protection: they provide guidance on workplace safety and health measures and procedures that will lead to higher standards of safety for all personnel engaged in the operation which gives rise to occupational exposure to UV. Furthermore, the ILO collects information on good workplace practice on protection of workers against UV radiation and on the identification and recognition of diseases as occupational caused by UV, and provides support for the applications of the relevant ILO instruments in member States.
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