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Solar radiation (sun burn)

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can cause skin damage including sunburn, blistering, skin ageing and in the long term can lead to skin cancer. 

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK, with over 40, 000 new cases diagnosed each year in the population of the UK with incident rate for construction workers 6 times the general rate.

UV radiation should be considered an occupational hazard for people who work outdoors. 

Whilst all construction workers are at risk, those with pale skin are most at risk of skin damage, especially those with fair or red hair, with a lot of freckles or with a family history of skin cancer.

No Time to Lose

Cancer caused by work claims 666,000 lives a year worldwide

IOSH's No Time to Lose campaign aims to get the causes of occupational cancer better understood and help you take action.

Download IOSH's free guidance leaflet: Solar Radiation, the facts.

HSE's guidance on solar radiation

Find out more about skin cancer on the HSE information web pages.


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