The sun is shining across our beautiful country and long may it last!
We should make the most of it as it doesn’t happen very often but it’s still important to know there is a dark side to sunshine – or that there is a risk of getting skin cancer from the sun in Ireland, but there is! Workers in the construction, outdoor and farming industries need to take special care as The Irish Cancer Society reports that one in four skin cancer deaths are in these sectors.
Research conducted in the UK emerged showing that working in the sun could lead to one death and five melanoma cases each week! Construction workers diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer had the highest number of deaths (4 in 10), followed by agriculture workers (2 in 10).
In a country like Ireland where sunshine is measured in hours, rather than days, it’s hard to believe that in 2014, for example, we had around one death every week related to sun exposure at work. Every year in Ireland, over 10,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer.
Here are 5 actionable tips to stay safe when working in the sun:
Where possible, stay in the shade to limit your direct exposure to UV rays from the sun.
Wear a hat with a brim that gives shade to the face, neck, head and ears. Cover up as much exposed skin as possible.
Longterm exposure to UV exposure can lead to cataracts and cancer so wear sunglasses on sunny days to protect your eyes.
Wear sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher from May to September. Don’t forget that sunscreen has an expiration date, so make sure yours is still good.
Know your local UV index
If your local UV index is 3 or higher, then you have to be extra careful in the sun and be sure to stay sun safe!