More than one-in-five tradespeople don’t wear sun protection when on the job, research commissioned by Toolstation has found, despite 67% wearing it while on holiday.
The poll conducted by one of Britain’s fastest growing suppliers of tools, accessories and building supplies also found that 58% had suffered from sunburn while working outside.
Nearly half (47%) of those surveyed said they don’t wear protection because they forget about it before going to work, while 15% don’t think they need it. A further 11% opt against wearing it because it tends to be inconvenient.
Despite forgetting to apply sun cream, 50% are still worried about getting burnt while working outside.
Other than using sun cream, those tradespeople also take other measures to help avoid burning. The poll found that:
- 60% wear sunglasses while working
- 54% reduce the amount of time they spend in the sun
- 50% cover up and wear long-sleeved clothing
- 50% stay in the shade when they can
85% of tradespeople felt more can be done in the industry to raise awareness of skin cancer and sun damage.
A spokesperson from Toolstation says: “We know that tradespeople don’t have much time on their hands, so prioritising sun care can be difficult but it’s really important that tradespeople are well informed about the implications of being burnt while working in the sun and the steps they can take to minimise that risk. We want to help them overcome that risk and make wearing sun cream when working outdoors as common as PPE.”
The HSE recommends the following for anyone that works outside:
- Keep a top on
- Wear a hat with a brim or a flap that covers the ears and the back of the neck
- Stay in the shade whenever possible, during your breaks and especially at lunch time and the hottest part of the day
- Use a high factor sunscreen of at least SPF15 on any exposed skin
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration
- Check your skin regularly for any unusual moles or spots. See a doctor promptly if you find anything that is changing in shape, size or colour, itching or bleeding