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Farmers reminded to protect themselves against occupational UV exposure

With one death and five new cases of skin cancer a week attributed to occupation UV exposure, farmers have been urged to protect themselves during the summer months.

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Farmers reminded to protect themselves against occupational UV exposure

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned too much exposure to UV radiation from the sun can cause skin damage including sunburn, blistering, skin ageing and in the long term, could lead to skin cancer.

 

New data from skin care experts SC Johnson Professional further revealed 45 per cent of health and safety professionals felt workers’ lack of awareness about the dangers of UV exposure prevented their use of protection, with 30 per cent citing a belief among employees that UK protection at work in the UK was unnecessary.

 

While it remains difficult to determine how many deaths due to UV exposure are occupational,

HSE guidelines stipulate UV radiation should be considered an occupational hazard for those who work outdoors.


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Stephanie Berkeley, Farm Safety Foundation manager, said: “While hot weather is a welcome condition for the farming community, it can also play havoc on your health.

 

“Too much intensive heat is not good for anyone, especially one working long hours in direct sunlight and can lead to sunburn, heat stroke or dehydration.

 

“Looking after your skin now can help you avoid skin cancer in the future.”

 

HSE has reminded farmers to follow guidance on outdoor workers and sun exposure and a free leaflet on sun protection can be found here.

HSE advice for protecting yourself against UV exposure

HSE advice for protecting yourself against UV exposure

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has produced the following guidance to help outdoor workers protect themselves against occupational UV exposure.

  • Keep your 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.
  • Use a high factor sunscreen of at least SPF15 on any exposed skin.
  • Drink plenty of water 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.
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