Most parts of the UK are currently experiencing a heatwave, following record-breaking temperatures in spring, so Marley is reminding roofers and construction workers to be aware of the damage caused by the sun.
Safety measures on site have increased due to COVID-19, so social distancing and regular hand washing for at least 20 seconds are a must, but as many contractors are working during the summer, Marley cautions that it is also vital not to neglect sun safety.
According to IOSH, malignant melanomas found to be caused by workplace settings kill 50 people each year, and around 40 per cent of malignant melanomas cases involve construction workers. This means many outdoor workers, including roofing contractors, are at a higher risk of long-term skin damage from UV rays, including premature ageing and even the development of skin cancer.
However, while for many outdoor workers the dangers of increased sun exposure to the skin is already well known, eyes are also highly susceptible to damage by UV rays. In fact, more than 99 per cent of UV radiation is absorbed by the front of the eye, which, over long periods of time, can lead to visible ageing around the eye area, cataracts, skin cancer on the eye lids and even vision loss.
For more than a decade, Marley’s Safe in the Sun initiative has helped to raise awareness of the importance of sun safety for contractors. It is a significant industry issue, and as a roof systems manufacturer, Marley believes it should support its customers, many of whom work for long periods outside in the sun, by providing simple and straightforward advice.
To help ensure outdoor workers remain safe this summer, Marley has five simple tips:
Sun safety on site
- Don’t leave exposed skin unprotected. Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 25 and remember to reapply regularly throughout the day.
- Make sure you apply sun cream, even when it is cloudy – up to 80% of dangerous UV rays can pass through a cloudy sky.
- To reduce the amount of sun cream needed, consider using long sleeved, lightweight, UV-protective PPE.
- Wear safety sunglasses with UV protection. Look for a UV 400 rating and check they are certified in line with EN 166 (personal eye protection) and EN 172 (sun glare filters for industrial use).
- As safety sunglasses will only cover part of your face, to prevent skin cancer and ageing, make sure you also apply sunscreen to the rest of your face.