For many summer is a time to relax and unwind, but it’s important those who work outdoors take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from the dangers posed by prolonged sun damage.
The amount of time spent outside means outdoor workers, such as roofers, are at greater risk of skin damage from UV rays, including premature ageing and skin cancer. With this in mind, at Marley, we’re launching our annual Safe in the Sun campaign, geared towards making sure outdoor workers understand the importance of protecting their skin and eyes throughout the summer.
Latest research has found that as well as being the cause of 83% of skin cancer cases, UV exposure is responsible for a huge 80% of the visible signs of ageing on the face, such as wrinkles and fine lines. This, over many years, can lead to pigmentation, reduced skin elasticity and a degradation of skin texture.
Our Safe in the Sun campaign has been running for over 15 years, over which time we’ve seen roofers take positive steps to help reduce the risk of sun damage to their skin. For example, we’re increasingly seeing most main contractors, house builders and large roofing companies adopt sun safe procedures and many building companies also require subcontractors to wear appropriate tops on site at all times.
Yet, when it comes to your face, it isn’t only your skin that is at risk from sun damage. Did you know, the organ most susceptible to damage from sunlight is the eye? Over 99% of UV radiation is absorbed by the front of the eye, so it’s important to ensure they are protected during sunnier months. Increased exposure over long periods, can lead to visible ageing around the eyes, cataracts, skin cancer on the eye lids and vision loss.
As part of this year’s campaign, we’ve spoken to Gary Walpole, safety, health and environment officer at the National Federation of Roofing Contractors to find out how outdoor workers can better protect their eyes. He told us: “UV light is one of the many hazards that can damage your eyesight, so it is important to wear protection. A roofer, or other construction worker, wearing safety sunglasses will not only protect their eyes from harmful UV rays, they will also feel more comfortable when working in bright conditions as the glasses will reduce disruptive reflections (glass, light coloured roofing membranes etc). Safety sunglasses with UV 400 protection and the relevant British Standards kitemark or CE mark, can help vision be significantly safer and more pleasant in sunny and bright conditions.”
While sun safety glasses are important, there are other ways outdoor workers can protect themselves from UV rays, which is why we’ve put together the following advice.