Be UV aware – Promoting sun safety for outdoor workers
Five outdoor workers are diagnosed with skin cancer every day in the UK: yet 90% of skin cancer deaths could be prevented if our exposure to UV rays were controlled.
Deb – a leading innovator and supplier of skin care products and hand sanitising solutions – is proactively campaigning to raise awareness of the risks associated with prolonged UV exposure to outdoor workers, specifically those who spend more than seven hours outside as part of their job.
According to a recent study, two thirds of outdoor workers, including roofers, landscapers, electricians, builders and gardeners do not know that they are at risk of getting skin cancer whilst at work, and although 90% of construction workers use sun screen on holiday, only 59% use it at work.
Deb is alerting those who have a duty of care to protect workers from UV rays and those who spend a considerable amount of time outside to be aware of the daily UV Index: when the UV level reaches three or above, protection is required.
Despite the HSE guidelines outlining that UV radiation should be considered an occupational hazard for those who work outdoors, and that employers should provide adequate training and supervision, it has been revealed in a study by the Institution of Safety and Health (IOSH) that 70% of workers in large UK construction companies have not had any training on the risks of working in the sun.
In light of this, Deb is supporting the Skcin Sun Safe Workplace scheme; an accreditation programme designed to guide employers through the process of implementing a suitable and successful Sun Safe Policy and educational programme into their organisation.
“Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK, and steps have to be taken to ensure that both employers and employees are aware of the substantial risk that working outdoors can have,” said Paul Jakeway, Marketing Director at Deb.
There is also uncertainty about what sun cream factor is appropriate. The minimum sun cream protection you should use is SPF30, and it’s also important to use a sun cream with a broad spectrum UVA protection. Reapplication is crucial too; it is recommended that cream is reapplied liberally every two to three hours. A cloudy day does not mean sun screen can be forgotten for outdoor workers either, as 100% of UVA rays can pass through clouds and cause significant skin damage.
Find out more about The Deb Stoko™ UV Protection Range and the Stokoderm Sun PROTECT range, here.
Alongside its product range, Deb is launching a campaign of activity nationwide this summer to help generate broad awareness of why active sun protection is so important.
As part of this campaign, Deb are also offering a range of resources, including toolbox presentations, brochures and awareness posters to employers and employees to provide education on the importance of sun safety in the workplace.
[1,2,3,4] IOSH No Time to Lose Solar Radiation Campaign