Construction workers at risk of skin cancer

Construction union UCATT are warning that construction workers are at particular risk of developing skin cancer.

The warning comes after new figures published by Public Health England have revealed that the number of hospital admissions for skin cancer have increased by 41% in just five years.

The figures show that in 2007, 87,665 people were admitted to hospital suffering from skin cancer and by 2011 that figure had risen to 123,808. The report found a particular large increase of men in their 60’s suffering from skin cancer.

While much of the focus has been on the dangers of sun exposure on package holidays and from sun beds, construction workers are at risk due to their regular exposure to the sun while at work.

UCATT advice is that workers should take straightforward measures to protect themselves against sun damage. This includes always keeping a top on and always using suncream, even if the sun does not appear to be strong. Further advice on how construction workers can protect themselves from sun damage can be found at

UCATT also advise construction workers to regularly check their skin for unusual spots or moles that change size, shape or colour or that start bleeding . If a construction worker does spot anything of concern they should seek prompt medical advice.

Steve Murphy, General Secretary of UCATT, said: “Construction workers are exposed to the sun on a daily basis. It is vital that workers and employers put in place simple measures to ensure that they do not suffer skin damage which could cause skin cancer later in life.”

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