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Reminder to stay safe this Skin Cancer Awareness month

07 May 2024

THIS SKIN Cancer Awareness Month, WernerCo is reminding professionals to take precautions in order to protect against the disease when working outside during spring, summer and beyond.

Due to their increased exposure to UV radiation, those working in construction are at particular risk of developing skin cancer. In fact, studies from Imperial College London’s Faculty of Medicine found that construction workers accounted for 44% of deaths caused by melanoma skin cancer.

With this in mind, WernerCo urges professionals to ensure they are wearing sunscreen all year round to prevent DNA damage, which can lead to the disease.

It is important to remember, even with summer fast approaching, that UV rays can penetrate clouds during all seasons and weather conditions, including autumn and winter, even on wet and/or overcasts days.

In order to prevent sun damage the NHS suggests:

  • Using 6 – 8 teaspoons of SPF for your entire body
  • Applying SPF 30 minutes before sun exposure
  • Applying to all areas of exposed skin
  • Reapplying according to the SPF manufacturer’s instructions 

The NHS also advises regular self-checking to monitor changes to the skin. A trip to the GP is required should there be any changes to the shape, size or colour of any moles, freckles or patches of skin, also if any new growths, moles or lumps appear.

WernerCo emphasises the importance of staying safe outdoors over the coming months and beyond, including wearing sunscreen and headwear to protect against the sun rays.

In addition, WernerCo warns of the safety risks when working at height during the upcoming summer period. Therefore, professionals are urged to take regular breaks, stay hydrated and wear suitable clothing during this time of year.

Equally, it is important that tradespeople also undertake their regular due diligence when working at height, such as conducting frequent audits, undertaking regular training and using the correct equipment for the task.

Justin White, managing director at WernerCo UK says, “Skin Cancer Awareness Month is a great way to raise the important matter of sun protection with construction workers who by the nature of their work are in a high-risk group when it comes to skin cancer.

“However, it’s important to recognise that those that work outdoors should be conscious of the dangers of sun damage beyond the month of May and must use precautions all year round.

“We urge construction workers to follow the advice given by the NHS, both when it comes to SPF application but also when it comes to regular checking of the skin. We also urge employers and teams to encourage those they are working with to apply sunscreen, come rain or shine.”