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How the heatwaves this summer could affect your work

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When working in the summer heat, it’s easy to forget to apply suncream. However, the risks of not fully protecting yourself cannot be understated. We explain the true dangers of working in the sun, and why applying sun cream is essential to your safety.

 

tradesman taking a bath inside a skip full of water

The Facts

  • “Every year there are more than 3,000 cases of skin cancer caused by outdoor work in construction and other industries”Heriot-Watt University
  • “Getting sunburn just once every two years can triple your risk of melanoma skin cancer, compared to never being burnt”Cancer Research UK
  • “When used as directed, sunscreen is proven to decrease your risk of skin cancers and skin pre-cancers. Regular daily use of SPF 15 sunscreen can reduce your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by about 40 per cent”Skin Cancer Foundation

The Risks

We all know how dangerous the sun can be… Especially in the hot heat of summer.

Underestimating its effects can open the door to a world of consequences, from being uncomfortable and in pain at work to possibly being diagnosed with something much more serious. Sunburn itself can be very limiting when working long hours. If you fail to protect yourself, you could develop sensitivity to the sun, limiting your ability to work outside for longer periods of time when the weather is nice. This could have a knock-on effect on your workload: dictating the jobs you can accept, ultimately affecting your earnings.

The Solution

To prevent yourself from being exposed to these risks, regularly apply sun cream every 1-2 hours, to ensure you have full protection.

It’s also a good idea to cover up on especially hot days, making sure to still apply sun cream under your clothes. While doing this may be uncomfortable, the alternative is much worse.

Finally, keep hydrated and take regular small breaks to avoid heat exhaustion. For extra peace of mind, make sure that the sun cream you use has both UVA and UVB protection – think of UVA protection as preventing ageing, and UVB as preventing burning.

Recap

If you put all of these things into practice, you are safe to enjoy working in the sun.

It’s important to look after your body during this time – it’s better to work safely at a slower rate than push yourself to the limit to then suffer later down the line. We all want to enjoy summer; covering up, staying hydrated and applying sun cream is the best way to do that.

So if you do decide to take a dip in the nearest skip, make sure to re-apply!

 

If you have any tips for working in the heat, get in touch and let us know!
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