Construction workers are being urged to “Cover Up, Mate” and protect themselves against ultraviolet (UV) damage as part of a new NHS campaign being supported by Jewson. This initiative is designed to encourage men who spend a lot of time outdoors to protect themselves against the sun and reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Skin cancer rates are rising in Britain. A recent Imperial College study, commissioned by Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) estimated that construction workers made up the highest number of deaths (44 per cent) from melanoma skin cancer over the course of a year. Across Britain there are 48 deaths and 241 cases of skin cancer per year caused by UV rays from the sun at work.
The NHS “Cover Up, Mate” campaign (which launched on the 19th of June 2017) targets male construction workers, amongst others, who often don’t use suncream.
David Kilby, Operations Director at Jewson, said: “We know builders don’t have much time on their hands, so prioritising something like sun care isn’t always easy – especially given Britain’s unpredictable weather. But with construction workers often outside for long periods of time, they can be at a much higher risk of exposure to UV rays than most. We’re showing our support to the Cover Up, Mate campaign to help raise awareness of the dangers of being in the sun without protection.”
Jewson joins a line-up of campaign supporters, including: the Met Office; IOSH; the National Farmers Union; Mole Valley Farmers farming supply retailer; and sun cream manufacturer, Debs.
NHS England Medical Director, Nigel Acheson, said: “You can’t feel UV radiation, so it’s very easy to get sunburnt in the UK, even when it’s not particularly warm. But sunburn causes skin cancer so it’s important people take more care, especially men and those who work outside. They need to use at least factor 15 sunscreen with good UVA protection and apply it generously on all exposed skin.”
Official NHS advice on staying safe in the sun is:
- spend time in the shade if you can
- make sure you never burn
- cover up with suitable clothing and sunglasses
- use at least factor 15 sunscreen
To find out more about how you can protect yourself on site, visit: http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/skin/pages/sunsafe.aspx