Marley Eternit has some advice for tradespeople to keep their skin protected in the sun.
To promote sun safety across the construction industry, Marley Eternit is running its annual Safe in the Sun campaign, and this year is encouraging outdoor workers to use sun cream.
It is offering this advice:
1. Do not leave exposed skin unprotected. Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 25 and remember to reapply regularly throughout the day.
2. Check your suncream has not expired.
If there is no expiry date on the bottle, look out for a small symbol of an open pot. This tells you how long you can use the cream for once opened, e.g. 18 months.
3. Apply suncream liberally – use around a teaspoon for the face and neck, and six teaspoons for the whole body.
4. Do not just apply suncream once a day – put it on in the morning and reapply at lunchtime
5. To reduce the amount of suncream needed, consider using long sleeved, lightweight, UV-protective PPE.
The roof systems manufacturer is also giving away free mini suncreams on a carabiner clip, to make them easy for outdoor workers to use.
Get your free bottle by emailing email@example.com.
Skin cancer rates are rising faster in the UK than in any other part of Europe, and outdoor workers are at particular risk. They have yearly sun exposure five to ten times higher than indoor workers.
As a result, according to the Institution of Occupational Health, there are at least 1,500 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer and 240 new cases of malignant melanoma every year linked to solar radiation through work.
A survey by YouGov found that almost a quarter of people in the UK do not apply sunscreen during the summer, with men twice as likely as women to forgo sun protection. Not only that but people only use around half of the amount they really need.
Katie Prestidge, who is leading the campaign at Marley Eternit, said: “Our Safe in the Sun campaign has been running for 15 years, and it has been encouraging to see over this time the construction industry has taken some positive steps to reduce the risk of sun damage.
Now, most main contractors, house builders and large roofing companies have sun safe procedures and many building companies also require subcontractors to wear appropriate tops on site at all times.
“However, it is clear that there is still an attitude of complacency in the UK when it comes to suncream use. Our own research found that 86% of construction workers make do with a lower than 30 SPF suncream and many don’t use it at all.”