Outdoors worker? You must read this.

Skin protection

Posted on 26/02/20

Is this you?

Window cleaner.

Construction worker.

Farmer. 

Refuse collector.

Policeman.

Armed forces.

Gardener.

Window cleaner.

Delivery guy.

Dog walker.

Council worker.

Street cleaner.

Postman.

Messenger courier.

Sports coach.

Deliveroo-er.

Have I missed anybody?

If you’re an outdoors worker, please do not dismiss this.

Male skin cancer is a rapidly growing force.

The number of diagnoses is almost expected to double globally over the next 15 years.

Europe accounts for just under 40% of cases despite only representing 7% of the world’s population.

Within Europe, the countries with the highest levels of skin cancer incidence per capita are Scandinavia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the UK. They are all leagues ahead of the global average.

The point that most people miss is that 30% more men die of skin cancer than women. This trend is consistent at a global and a European level.

However, 30% is just the global average.

There are a handful of countries where male skin cancer mortality rates are nearly double women’s. In simple terms, this means that up to two men die of skin cancer for each woman who suffers from the same disease. These countries are Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, the UK and the USA.

Why does that matter to you?

Sunscreen is to the skin what a helmet or hard hat is to the skull.

A UK study found that about 86%  of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

These rays touch your skin every single day. And that includes during winter or through cloud cover. This is especially true for you given your job.

Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50%.

For the attention of: Government

Make it mandatory for employers to provide sun protection free of charge to outdoor workers.

A breach of this health and safety code should be a criminal offence.

While you’re at it, cut VAT on sunscreen. It is a medicine not a freakin’ cosmetic.

For the attention of: Employers

Make sun protection a part of every employee’s training.

Stick it down in the employee manual.

In terms of health and safety, this is no different to a fire drill, a hard hat or a high visibility jacket.

Take responsibility for your outdoors worker.

For the attention of: Employees

Break the taboo.

Put on a daily moisturiser with SPF in the morning. Carry sunscreen with you. Use it all year round.

Do it for your looks. Do it for yourself. Do it for your family. 

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