Staying safe in the sun

08 July 2015

Safety specialist Arco is highlighting the need for sun protection at work to combat the UK’s fast growing skin cancer rate.

An estimated 86% of malignant melanoma cases in the UK are linked to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Arco believes that sun protection is a vital element of personal protection equipment (PPE). The company’s protection products include the Deb SunPROTECT range of sun creams, with the Deb SunPROTECT Skin Safety Centre which helps to educate people about the dangers of working outside.

Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer. Every year in the UK there are at least 1500 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer and 240 new cases of malignant melanoma linked to solar radiation exposure through work.

Construction workers are six times more likely to develop the disease than the general population. Lack of knowledge of sun safety contributes to the problem: Nottingham University researchers found that two thirds of construction workers thought they were either not at risk, or unsure if they were.

Drivers, too, are at risk. Windscreens block up to 98% of harmful UVA rays, because they are made of glass laminated with plastic; however, the other windows allow up to 80% penetration. And, of course, drivers are not protected at all when outside the vehicle.

"The dangers of UV radiation at work are becoming better understood all the time,” said Jeff Snee, Arco’s product and procurement manager. "We are making sun PPE, and particularly using sun cream, a priority this year – especially for those industries where people are exposed to the greatest risk.”

What to do?

  • Treat sun safety as a health and safety at work issue
  • Provide and use sun cream with Factor 30 UV protection. Arco offers a wide variety of sun protection, including the Deb SunPROTECT range of sun creams, which are perfume-free, non-greasy and water-resistant. These include a 150ml tube for individuals and a one-litre cartridge, plus a dispenser for larger teams. The Deb SunPROTECT Skin Safety Centre helps to raise awareness of UV danger at work with a pre-assembled one litre dispenser of sun cream, with a set of numbered cards for displaying the current UV level, plus a QR code which links to the Met Office’s weather and UV level web page so that UV index cards can be regularly updated
  • Get expert help. Arco offers expert guidance to customers on how to keep themselves and their workers safe. Arco has over 48 stores across the country where approachable people can give expert advice on what protection to wear, and it also offers advice on its website and over the phone.
The Deb SunPROTECT products, and other sun protection, are available from Arco’s website. More information on safety at work in the sun is on Arco’s dedicated Sun Safety page