In Ireland, skin cancer is the most common cancer with 13,000 cases diagnosed annually. People who work outdoors have a higher-than-average risk of skin cancer. Today (Thursday 15th June) for example the UV rays in Ireland are above 6, and according to professional advice, preventative measures need to be taken when UV rays are above 3.
Employers and safety representatives are being urged to work together to ensure that all outdoor workers are aware of the dangers and protect themselves from the sun and the chances of developing skin cancer.
The Construction Safety Partnership (CSPAC) an Advisory Committee to the board of the Health and Safety Authority (HSA,) has developed a quick information guide for employees and safety representatives to raise awareness about the risk of skin cancer from sun exposure. This Employee Information Sheet-Protect Your Skin When Working Outdoors highlights the dangers of UV (ultraviolet) rays to outdoor workers, what the UV index means, and offers tips on how to protect skin from the sun and dangerous UV rays.
As employers are required to provide a safe working environment they should therefore plan, manage and risk assess how their employees will work outdoors.
If the UV index is 3 or more, be sure to follow the SunSmart 5 S’s.