Sun safety campaign targets skin cancer in construction

Image: We Build the Future

Construction charity We Build the Future has launched a sun safety campaign to help reduce the risk and incidence of skin cancer among people working in the built environment sector. 

Construction workers are at a heightened risk of developing skin cancer because of over exposure to UV radiation. They account for 44% of occupational skin cancer diagnosis and 42% of occupational skin cancer deaths each year – despite construction workers making up only 8% of the workforce.  

We Build the Future’s preventative campaign aims to help reduce the risk and incidence of skin cancer by promoting sun safety practices on every building site. 

The campaign will: 

  • Promote awareness of UV risk among built environment industry workers and employers; 
  • Provide access to simple advice on how to reduce UV risk; 
  • Campaign for sites and offices to adopt safe practices to reduce UV risks; 
  • Promote access to information and advice for people with concerns about skin cancer. 

As part of the campaign, the charity has also teamed up with Melanoma UK and Rainbow Signs to offer sun safety site boards to employers and main contractors.  

Using a traffic light system to indicate daily UV risk, the boards should be positioned in a prominent location on site. The risk indicator should be checked and updated by site managers daily, after checking Met office data for the location.  

The site boards also provide advice on how to reduce UV risk, and feature QR links to further support through Melanoma UK. 

Preventable risks

Richard Harral, founder of We Build the Future, said: “Rates of skin cancer are rising faster than any other cancer in the UK. With 86% of all skin cancers the result of over-exposure to UV radiation from the sun, the majority are preventable.  

“Our sun-safe campaign is about prevention, detection and awareness, with the site boards a clear and visual way to highlight the risk of sunlight and help try and change attitudes and behaviours.  

“We urge construction site owners, employers and employees to take advantage of this innovative safety initiative.”  

For further information, or if you wish to sign up or sponsor the sun safety campaign, please contact [email protected]

This article first appeared on CIOB People.

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