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Roofers Failing To Stay Safe In Sun

Work Related Health Epidemic


Roofers and other tradesmen are failing to protect themselves from harmful sun rays, builders liability insurance holders have said.

One in three roofers are exposing themselves to risk by not wearing sun cream or using a lower factor than they should, research from Marley Eternit revealed.

Almost a quarter are also neglecting to cover their back, neck, arms and legs while working.

Sarah Hanlon, a spokesperson for Marley Eternit, said: "We urge roofers and builders to protect themselves this summer. If the air temperature is 18C, the temperature of a typical elevated roof surface for example, exposed to direct sunlight, can easily reach 32C."

Roofers and builders are at a higher risk from skin cancer due to the nature of their work, Kimberley Carter, from the British Association of Dermatologists said.

People working on roofs are also at an increased danger of falling from height. This was highlighted in August 2009 when a Klarius UK worker fell more than two metres from a scaffold tower which resulted in the firm being fined £8,000.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Mark Allen from Law Firm Irwin Mitchell said: "Insurance industry experts have already predicted that exposure to the sun whilst at work could lead to many workers suffering skin cancer and could be the next work related health epidemic after asbestos exposure.

"Those that work in roofing and construction industries are particularly at risk as they work for long periods of time outdoors where they are exposed to the sun. We urge employers to ensure that workers are well informed about these risks and provide their workers with suitable clothing and sun block."