One death and five new cancers per week are a result of occupational UV exposure with skin cancer, the most common cancer in the world.
These were the statistics from manufacturing company Swarfega, which has been targeting farmers in an attempt to refresh how the industry recognises skin damage when working outdoors.
When asked about their attitudes towards skin care, 31 per cent of agricultural workers said they did not use sun cream at work at all last summer, with 67 per cent suggesting it was ‘too much effort’.
This was despite the fact that 87 per cent said they would use it on holiday.
According to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world but the easiest cancer to avoid, with 90 per cent of skin cancer deaths classed as ‘preventable’.
A spokesperson said: “Skin cancer cases are on the rise in the UK and it is evident that more awareness is needed.”
Of the respondents, 73 per cent knew that UV rays could pass through cloud, but only 13 per cent admitted to wearing sun cream on cloudy days.
To better approach sun safety, Swarfega said to follow the five Ss:
1 – Slip on sun protection clothing
2 – Slop on some sun cream of at least 20SPF about 20 minutes before initial exposure. Reapply every two hours or more if sweating heavily.
3 – Slap on a hat and neck protection
4 – Slide on some sunglasses
5 – Shade from the sun – take breaks or work in a shaded area where possible
Swarfega said sun cream must be applied when the UV level reaches 3. It can be tracked on the Met Office website.