The Sun and your Skin

In a normal twist of the British weather, the day that Lockdown started the incessant rain of this past winter stopped and the sun came out.

I am risking the summer by writing this article but in the summer weather we must be more vigilant of time spent in the sun, whether at work or home.

Skin cancer cases are on the increase in the UK – and they are rising faster than in the rest of Europe. Every year in Great Britain, on average:

  • Occupational skin cancer kills 60.
  • There are at least 1,500 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer and 240 new cases of malignant melanoma linked to solar radiation exposure through work.

Ultraviolet radiation is a risk that particularly affects outdoor workers, who receive 5-10 times the yearly sun exposure of indoor workers. Weather forecasts often include a UV Index in the summer months.

Worldwide, non-melanoma skin cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer, with an estimated 2-3 million cases registered every year. Protect yourself and your employees from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun when outdoors, whether at work or play. Follow these steps:

  1. Cover Up – Wear long, loose clothing to keep the sun off your Loose clothing must not be worn where it could present a risk of entanglement in machinery.
  2. Protect Your Head – Don’t forget your head, face, ears and If you wear a hard hat, consider a Legionnaire-style flap.
  3. Seek Shade – Come out of the sun if possible, during the most powerful ultraviolet periods (10am–3pm) and remember to stay in the shade during breaks.
  4. Use Sunscreen – Use SPF 30 or higher on any exposed skin – apply it half an hour before going outside, put plenty on and reapply it frequently.
  5. Be Skin Safe – Report mole changes (size, shape, colour, itching or bleeding) or any other concerns about your skin to your doctor as soon as possible – don’t put it off, early treatment is important.


  • Drink sufficient fluids on hot days to stay well Becoming even mildly dehydrated can affect concentration, decision making and coordination.