Marley remains committed to raising awareness about an important public health message. Daniel Redfern, Marketing Manager, explains how merchants can ensure they are helping to educate their customers to stay Safe in the Sun this summer.

Research into the impact of sun exposure in the UK construction sector undertaken by Nottingham University, is a timely reminder about the risks facing tradespeople who work outdoors.

Each year more than 1,500 new cases of work-related non-melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed. However, according to a report from IOSH, nine in ten skin cancer deaths could be prevented if precautions to avoid sun damage were made.

The university’s findings state that two thirds of those working outside for an average of seven hours a day or more, either thought they were ‘not at risk’ or ‘didn’t know whether they were or not’, due a misguided perception that UK climate conditions do not pose a skin cancer danger.

While summers can often be characterised as wet and overcast, the prevailing evidence demonstrates that constant exposure to the outdoor climate during hotter months does raise health risks. With stringent health and safety standards on site, attention should also be given to relaying the need for outside workers to cover up and protect themselves during the summer months.

Use the ’Safe in the Sun’ message

To help prevent raise awareness of this important issue, Marley has committed time and resources over the past 20 years to its ‘Safe in the Sun’ campaign.

It is designed to ensure that roofing professionals, and other outdoor construction workers, have the safety information they need and a range of helpful tips that can help reduce the effects of increased sun exposure.

Since its launch in 2004, ‘Safe in the Sun’ has focussed on reminding outdoor workers about the need to protect themselves. Whether it is experienced roofers who have been in the trade for years, or younger construction tradespeople entering the industry, the message is the same: be aware of the dangers the sun and UV rays and take some easy preventative actions to stay safe.

As well as the provision of helpful guidance, Marley has also invested in practical support. Each year, the company has given away thousands of sachets of free sun cream to the trade and visited sites up and down the country to distribute them. This year’s campaign once again enables construction workers to pick up free sachets of sun cream from merchant counters nationwide.

As well as making sure that all employees working in building and timber yards follow our sun safety advice, merchants are ideally placed to help inform and educate their own customers, many of whom are in the high-risk skin cancer category.  For example, now is an ideal opportunity to create a sun safety display in branch, containing advice, sun cream giveaways and highlighting the products available to help reduce skin cancer risk on site. 

Marley has the following Safe in the Sun advice for merchants and their customers:

  • Keep a shirt or jacket on and opt for tightly woven fabrics, which help to form a barrier to the sun’s harmful rays
  • Do not leave exposed skin unprotected. Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and remember to reapply regularly
  • Always wear a hard hat - preferably with a brim and flap that will cover the ears and the back of the neck
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated
  • Check your skin regularly for unusual spots and moles, or changes to spots and moles
  • Wear safety sunglasses with a UV 400 rating to not only protect eyes from harmful UV rays
  • Check that eye protection is certified in line with EN 166 (personal eye protection) and EN 172 (sun glare filters for industrial use).

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