Be UV Aware this Summer
- Date: Thursday 9th June 2016
UV is a known carcinogen, and employees who work outside during daytime hours have a higher risk of developing skin cancer. Every day in the UK, five outdoor workers are diagnosed with skin cancer, yet we could prevent 90% of deaths caused by skin cancer if our exposure to UV rays were controlled. According to a recent study, two thirds of outdoor workers, including roofers, landscapers, electricians, builders and gardeners do not know that they are at a risk of getting skin cancer whilst at work. Although 90% of construction workers use sunscreen on holiday, only 59% use it at work.
According to the HSE guidelines, UV radiation should be considered an occupational hazard for those who work outdoors, and employers should provide adequate training and supervision to ensure that these guidelines are adhered to. This is not the case however; as a recent study carried out by the Institution of Safety and Health (IOSH) found that 70% of workers in large UK construction companies have not had any training on the risks of working in the sun.
Sun Safe Workplaces is the first and only accreditation scheme of its kind to launch in the UK. Its key objectives are to prevent skin cancer through the promotion of sun safety in the workplace. Sun Safe Workplaces is an online tool, which is available free to all UK companies that employ any number of outdoor workers. The scheme offers resources to help them to implement a suitable sun safety policy whilst educating their employees on all aspects of skin cancer prevention and early detection.
Employers have a duty of care to educate their employees about the health implications the sun can have and the importance of regularly checking their skin for signs of change. The Sun Safe Workplaces scheme addresses these issues and offers help and guidance to ensure that these are implemented.