We’re all about teaming up with great companies on a mission to help the cannabis and ag community manage risk. UVPPE is one of those awesome companies, creating clothing designed to protect cannabis cultivators. This guest post comes to us from their founder and CEO, Daniel Jordan. Daniel explains how protecting your employees can go a long way in reducing business risk.
The cannabis industry is growing at the speed of light, literally. New technologies, advances in lighting and innovations in horticulture have revolutionized the process and speed at which cannabis is cultivated, harvested, and marketed. While much of the emphasis and regulation has been focused on growing methods and transparent business practices, only recently have organizations like the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) and others, promoted these advances to bring about more acceptance of the industry in our society.
However, despite all these amazing advances, the industry has all but ignored a sobering fact about the process of growing cannabis. The same lights that are revolutionizing the cultivation process are exposing those working around them to significant ultraviolet (UV) radiation. While much of the attention has been placed on sanitation and efficiency, next to no thought has been given to protecting employees from hazardous and unavoidable UV rays.
A simple comparison would be tanning beds and grow lights. Today’s tanning beds usually operate between 100 to 400 watts, while the average grow light is between 300 to 1,200 watts or more. We all know the effects of staying in a tanning bed. Just imagine the exposure workers are getting when under these intense grow lights for extended hours every day. Consider the distance as well at which most lights are placed in relationship to those working around them and you begin to clearly see the inherent dangers.
The technological advances and benefits from creating the full UV spectrum from varied light sources comes at a cost. Skin cancer is on the rise and affects more Americans than all other cancers combined. Melanoma rates, the most-deadly form of skin cancer, have more than doubled since 1982. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays is the major risk factor for most melanomas. In every study, UV radiation from natural and artificial light has greatly affected the risk of developing skin cancer. In most grow operations there are few, IF ANY, personal protective equipment (PPE) standards designed to protect employees from UV radiation.
About 4.9 million adults in the U.S. are treated for some type of skin cancer every year – at an average annual cost of $8.1 billion (1). It only takes one incident to seriously impact your business. And unfortunately, most growers are not prepared to survive a class action lawsuit or other significant medical claim.
UV Personal Protective Equipment (UVPPE) was born from a call to action – to address this issue within the cannabis industry. UVPPE specializes in commercial clothing designed specifically for cannabis cultivation. All our fabrics are tested over 50+ UPF (Ultraviolet Protective Factor) – the highest rating achievable for clothing. Our single focus is to provide workers with the most complete UV protection possible, utilizing the most advanced fabrics available, delivering safety, comfort, durability, and most importantly protection. In doing so, we provide employers with a low-cost solution to a potentially huge liability risk. UVPPE wants to see the cannabis industry thrive, but to do so we must first begin by protecting our workers and our businesses on the front line. With our products you can protect your workers while protecting yourself.
Your protection is our passion! Connect with us so we can begin protecting your future.
(1) Guy GP, Machlin S, Ekwueme DU, Yabroff KR: Prevalence and costs of skin cancer treatment in the US, 2002–2006 and 2007–2011; Am J Prev Med. 2015;48:183–7.