Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland. Most cases are caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, which cause skin ageing, sunspots and eye damage.
According to the Irish Cancer Society (ICS), one in four (23%) of skin cancer deaths in Ireland are from the construction, farming and other outdoor industries. ICS warns that construction workers need to be extra vigilant during the summer months.
This summer, the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has once again teamed up with the ICS to bring the SunSmart message to all workers and reduce their risk of skin cancer.
The ICS recently welcomed the launch of the first skin cancer prevention plan for Ireland and called on the Government to follow through on this ambition by ensuring the plan is adequately funded and resourced.
Kevin O’Hagan, Cancer Prevention Manager, ICS, says, “Between 2005 and 2015 there was a 70% increase in the incidence of skin cancer (melanoma and non-melanoma) in Ireland, with 11,785 cases diagnosed in 2015. If we don’t all take action to look after our skin, the number of skin cancers in Ireland is projected to double by 2045.
“You don’t have to work in a Mediterranean country for the sun to do damage to your skin and Irish people need to wise up to that. It would be beneficial if workplaces whose employees work predominately outdoors did a risk assessment and put in place a policy concerning protection from sun exposure.”
According to Ciara Naughton, Health and Safety Manager, PJ Hegarty, “Many construction workers spend a significant proportion of their working day outdoors and thus need to take precautions against the risk of skin damage from exposure to the sun. PJ Hegarty is seeking to ensure workers are SunSmart and avail of sun cream provided by the company when the UV index level reaches 3. Workers are advised to take precautions to protect themselves from UV light that radiates from the sun, even on cloudy days.”

Health & Safety