CIF joins forces with Irish Cancer Society to spread he SunSmart message this summer
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland. Most cases are caused by UV rays from the sun. UV rays also cause skin ageing, sunspots and eye damage.
1 in 4 skin cancer deaths in Ireland in Construction, Outdoor and Farming Industries
According to Irish Cancer Society, one in four (23%) of skin cancer deaths in Ireland are from the Construction, Outdoor and Farming Industries. The Society warns that construction workers need to be extra vigilant during the summer months.
This summer CIF is also urging all workers to protect their skin and reduce their risk of skin cancer.
A recent report published in the ‘British Journal of Cancer’ said that construction workers diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer had the highest number of deaths (four in 10), followed by agriculture workers (over two in 10).
Kevin O’Hagan, Cancer Prevention Manager with the Irish Cancer Society, said, “The figures from the CSO show that in 2014, we had around one death every week in Ireland that is related to sun exposure at work. Coupled with the research from the UK, it shows just how extensive, and unfortunately fatal, sun damage can be for outdoor workers.
“It’s vital that we pay heed to this in Ireland this summer. 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 really useful if workplaces whose employees work predominately outdoors did a risk assessment and put in place policy in relation to protection from sun exposure.
“Every year in Ireland, over 10,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer, and recent figures show that more men than women were diagnosed, with 5,979 men receiving a diagnosis in 2013 compared with 4,796 women. Whether it’s sunny or cloudy, everyone should protect their skin and this summer; we ask people to follow our SunSmart Code for best protection.”
Bracegrade Ltd is one CIF member that is taking this warning very seriously by installing sunscreen stations on all its sites. Tim Stuart, Site Manager at Bracegrade, says workers are driving this decision and that the company is delighted to support this year’s SunSmart campaign. “In addition to engaging skincare specialists Deb Ltd to install sunscreen stations with dispensers that provide factor 50 sunscreen protection on all our sites, Deb Ltd are conducting toolbox talks on skin protection, where the advice will include reapplying creams every two to three hours to maintain effectiveness. They will also provide a UV camera to conduct base level tests on the skin of workers if they wish.”
The Irish Cancer Society and the CIF have produced a leaflet and poster for members on how to be safe in the sun and how to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
To learn more about the SunSmart campaign, visit: www.cancer.ie/reduce-your-risk/sunsmart