With a heatwave predicted to hit to UK at some point this summer, contractors who spend a lot of time working outside are being warned to protect themselves (and their employees) from harmful exposure to the sun’s rays.
Employee benefits company for the construction industry, ECIS, is leading a campaign to promote skin cancer awareness amongst those in the construction industry. ECIS acknowledge that excellent progress has been made in reducing the risks of accidental injuries and deaths at work, but believes dangers posed by the sun have been somewhat overlooked.
It’s estimated that around 1.2 million men have been sunburnt whilst at work and research suggests that people with a history of sunburn find their risk of developing melanoma, doubled. Further statistics show that malignant melanoma kills almost 50 people per year in the UK, caused by exposure to the sun at work.
More than 2100 people in the UK die every year from skin cancer, making it Britain’s most common form of cancer. Worryingly, a recent survey by the British Association of Dermatologists showed that 77% wouldn’t know the signs of melanoma and 40% never check themselves for it.
Whilst it is tempting to strip off and make the most of the sun in the UK, it is absolutely not recommended for the reasons cited above. A big percentage of Britain’s economy relies on an active and healthy construction industry, so employers encouraging outdoor workers to wear sun cream of at least factor 30 that also provides UVA and UVB protection, will help to keep our industry thriving.
Article by Benjamin Clarke