Launching its annual ‘Safe in the Sun’ campaign to urge roofers to take the power of the sun seriously and protect their skin whilst working outside this summer, Marley is also urging builders’ merchants to play their part too.
Daniel Redfern, Marketing Manager at Marley, said: “The skin is the body’s first defence against aggressors, including the sun. Too much sun can seriously damage our skin – both now and in the future – and we want merchants to recognise their responsibility to their roofing contractor customers and to get involved with our campaign to help spread the Safe in the Sun message.
“We are supporting the campaign with posters for merchants as well as via social media.”
Over 400 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day in the UK, with 44 of those being deadly melanoma, and the rate of incidence is rising rapidly. Daniel said: “When it comes to skin cancer, prevention is better than cure. That’s why, for this year’s campaign, we’re encouraging roofers to focus on the importance of sun safety and protecting their skin on site, with straight-forward and clear advice.”
Marley states how important it is to be aware of any changes to the skin, in particular, moles. For example, has a mole enlarged or a new one appeared? Does it have an irregular outline or is mixed black and brown in colour? Is the mole bigger than the blunt end of a pencil? Are the edges inflamed or red? Does it feel different – itchy or painful? If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of the above, a visit the GP immediately is advised to get it checked out.
The campaign also focuses on the “simple precautions” that can be taken to minimise the risk of sun damage and to help protect the skin:
Cover up with suitable clothing and use sunscreen on all exposed parts of the body.
Avoid sunburn: it’s painful and can increase the risk of developing melanoma, not just now but in the future too.
Apply a sunscreen of at least Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 (for UVB protection) and a star rating of 4 or 5 (for UVA protection) evenly and regularly to all areas of exposed skin – including the face. Using a water-resistant formula will also help provide better protection as it is more able to cope with the effects of sweating.
Ideally, sunscreen should be applied at least 20 minutes before going outside and then re-applied every two hours. Consistency – in terms of even coverage and regular application – is essential.
To raise sun-safe awareness, the Marley initiative includes a competition. Daniel explained: “We want as many roofers and construction workers to stay Safe in the Sun this summer. That’s why we’re running a fantastic prize draw to help spread the message for one lucky roofer to win £1000 worth of Amazon vouchers to spend on essential tools!
“All roofing contractors have to do to enter the competition is visit the Marley website – www.marley.co.uk/safeinthesun and register their details.”
The need for Marley’s campaign is perhaps reinforced by recent research from Toolstation which revealed that more than one-in-five (21%) of tradespeople don’t wear sun protection when on the job, despite 67% wearing it while on holiday. The poll 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”. And despite forgetting to apply suncream, 50% say they are still “worried” about getting burnt while working outside.
Other than using suncream, 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
In addition, 85% of tradespeople felt more can be done in the industry to raise awareness of skin cancer and sun damage.
A spokesperson from Toolstation said: “We know that tradespeople don’t have much time on their hands, so prioritising suncare 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.”