• Debunking Workwear UPF Sun Protection
Debunking Workwear UPF Sun Protection

Debunking Workwear UPF Sun Protection

Luckily WORKIT have plenty of options, all of which are fully compliant with AS/NZS 4399:1999, the common standard in Sun Protective Clothing.

When searching for apparel that can effectively shield you from harmful rays, keep these factors in mind:

Colour: Dark or bright colours keep UV rays from reaching your skin by absorbing them, rather than allowing them to penetrate.  That's why these colours offer better protection than lighter shades.

Construction: WORKIT cotton drill, denim and inherent FR fabrics are all milled into densely woven cloth fabrics, and as such provide more protection than sheer, thin or other loosely woven fabric.  Check a fabric's sun safety by holding it up to the light.  If you can see through, UV radiation can easily penetrate the fabric and reach your skin.

Content: The composition of the fabric really matters.  Unbleached cotton contains natural lignins that act as UV absorbers.  WORKIT fabrics also have applied high-tech chemical UV absorbers through the dying process that also help prevent penetration from UV rays.

Fit: Loose-fitting apparel is preferrable, both for UV protection and heat-stress mitigation.  Thight clothing can stretch and reduce the level of protection offered, as fibres pull away from each other and allow more UV light to pass through.

UPF: When in doubt, ask your Workwear manufacturer for testing certification on the fabrics used.  All WORKIT fabrics are milled in-house, and go through rigorous testing procedures to map sun protection, fabric strength and colour fastness.

Coverage: remember, the more skin your Workwear covers, the better your overall protection.  Whenever possible, choose long sleeve Shirts and Pants, over Shirts and Shorts when working outside.

Activity: Regardless of UPF, if your clothing gets stretched or wet, it will lose some of its protective ability and become more transparent, exposing the skin to more UV light.  WORKIT fabrics allow for sweat and wet clothing to always provide UPF50+ ratings.

More around the AS/NZS4399 Australian Standard for sun protective clothing:

Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation over many years causes serious health problems such as skin cancers. Clothing that is sensibly designed for sun protection reduces your exposure. Materials with Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) ratings of 40 and higher provide all-day protection for the fairest skin. A garment only protects the skin it covers. Protect your head and exposed skin by wearing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen and use shaded outdoor areas.

This UPF rating is for the fabric and does not address the amount of protection which is afforded by the design of the article. The manipulations involved in garment manufacture such as stretching and sewing may lower the UPF of the material. Articles which have been designed to cover the maximum area of the body are recommended.

The protection offered by this item may be lessened:
(1) at points where the fabric is in close contact with the skin such as across the shoulders;
(2) if the fabric is stretched;
(3) if the fabric is wet; and
(4) with time, due to the effects of normal wear.

More Sun Protection information: www.cancer.org.au/sunsmart

For more information about UPF and UV radiation visit: www.arpansa.gov.au/uv