Construction workers warned of UV risk on overcast days

  • 2 Jul 2015

Overexposure to ultraviolet rays (UV) is the biggest cause of skin cancer but, unlike heat from the sun, cannot be seen or felt and can still pass through light cloud. 

Roofing and facade manufacturer Marley Eternit have warned of the dangers of UV.

Figures show that skin cancer rates in the UK are still increasing and a recent report from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) found that 50 outdoor workers are dying from skin cancer in the UK each year.

Construction workers are thought to be most at risk due to the long periods of time spent outdoors, with some trades being up to nine times more likely to get skin cancer than other workers. 

UV wrist bands

Marley Eternity is providing free UV colour changing wrist bands to its contractor customers, and has more available on request. 

The white silicone bands carry the Safe in the Sun message, and will change colour to red when continuously exposed to UV rays.

Katie Prestidge, Trade Marketing Manager for Marley Eternity, explains: “The UV wrist bands will help act as a visual reminder to take sun protection measures.  I think many people will be surprised at how much UV radiation they are exposed to.  

“On sunny days, employers should ensure outdoor workers protect themselves as a matter of course.  On cloudy and overcast days, if UV levels are 3 or higher on the index, or the wristband changes colour, then people need to wear sunscreen and cover up.”

Safe in the Sun

Marley Eternity has also reissued its Safe in the Sun advice as a reminder to construction workers and their employers:

  • Keep a shirt or jacket on and opt for tightly woven fabrics, which help to form a barrier to the sun’s harmful rays.
  • Don’t leave exposed skin unprotected. Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and remember to reapply regularly.
  • Wear a hard hat at all times, preferably with a brim and flap that will cover the ears and the back of the neck.
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
  • Check your skin regularly for unusual spots and moles or changes to spots and moles.

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