Longford farmers, builders and outdoor workers urged to be SunSmart

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Skin  cancer

Farmers, builders and outdoor workers are urged to be SunSmart due to their high risk of skin cancer

Farmers, builders and outdoor workers are urged to be SunSmart due to their high risk of skin cancer.

Healthy Ireland, HSE, and the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) are joining forces to urge outdoor workers to follow the 5S’s of skin protection.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Ireland with over 11,000 cases diagnosed annually, and it is predicted that this number will more than double by the year 2045.

Outdoor workers are particularly vulnerable to developing skin cancer. Due to spending long periods of time outdoors, they are exposed to high levels of UV rays from the sun – even on a cloudy day.

Recent CSO figures suggest that up to one-in-four skin cancer deaths in Ireland are among workers in the construction, outdoor and farming sectors.

Dermot Carey, Director, Safety & Training, CIF said: “Whilst Covid-19 remains to the forefront of our thinking about wellbeing, we must not lose sight of other hazards in the workplace, not least the potential for skin cancer. Persons working outdoors need to be aware of these hazards, the associated risk, and the precautionary measures they should take to protect their skin, from Spring through Autumn.

“We all need to monitor the UV index throughout the day, to cover-up exposed skin and to apply sunscreen lotion accordingly.”

The SunSmart Code:
-Slip on clothing that covers your skin such as, long sleeves, collared t-shirts.
-Slop on sunscreen: Use sunscreen SPF 30 or higher. Apply 20 minutes before going outside and re-apply every two hours – more often if perspiring.
-Slap on a wide brimmed hat.
-Seek Shade – especially if outdoors between 11am to 3pm when UV rays are at their strongest. If possible schedule outdoor work before 11am or after 3pm.
-Slide on wraparound sunglasses.