“55% of skin cancer patients are construction workers.”
David Branch from HSS Hire delivered this shocking statistic. He has teamed up with Cancer Research UK to raise awareness about skin cancer in the construction industry. This profession has always had its hazards and workers can come into contact with health and safety risks daily. Some can come into contact with large, high-risk machinery. Others, also have to work from dangerous heights and with harmful substances. And most, have to work under the gruelling heat of the sun each day.
However, one aspect of workers safety isn’t taken into consideration is their skin care. Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer. Therefore, the strain placed upon a construction workers skin, who is out in the hot sun all day, could have devastating consequences for both employees, and their employers. These consequences can range from mild skin irritations to infectious skin diseases. Both can have major effects on an employee’s ability to work and an employer’s workforce.
The notion that skin cancer should be considered a matter of professional safety though is supported by research. Studies have shown that within Europe alone, three million working days are lost each year due to occupational skin disease. This is not good news for the employers or the industry as the EU economy has to pay out around 600 million euros to cover this.
The Health and Safety Executive consequently strongly advises employers in the construction industry to implement policies to prevent this. Within these policies, it is advised that employers try to educate their employees about the signs and symptoms of skin cancer, alongside the precautions they can take.
But what do you think of this? Do you feel like you’re at risk? Do you think more can be done on site to prevent it? Well, let us know what you think in the comments below.