safe in the sun

After a decade campaigning for better safe in the sun practises in the construction industry, Marley Eternit is warning that outdoor workers are still not using adequate sun protection and there is still more to do to ensure risks of skin cancer and heat stroke are reduced. 

According to safe in the sun campaigner and roofing manufacturer Marley Eternit, roofers and other construction employees who work outside, should have used at least three bottles of sunscreen, if they had been protecting themselves adequately, during the recent heatwave.

Construction workers rank amongst the highest risk category of workers because of their prolonged exposure to the sun, especially when working in the heat of the day, between 11am and 3pm.  Marley Eternit believes that despite improved sun safety guidance and policies, such as using a minimum factor 30 sunscreen, many workers are making do with lower factors or even no sun lotion at all when they should be using up to 50ml sunscreen a day, equating to a bottle a week, even when it is cloudy.

Darren Baines, marketing communications manager at Marley Eternit, comments:  “The sun is great to enjoy for short periods of time but many construction workers are still failing to protect themselves fully from the risks of the sun, with ‘I often forget’, ‘I haven’t got time’ and ‘It’s too expensive’ ranking as the top three reasons as to why construction workers don’t regularly apply sunscreen.  This is why we have continued to campaign for safe in the sun practices for a decade to help ensure their safety.”

Figures from Cancer Research show that over the last 25 years, rates of skin cancer in Britain have risen faster than any other common cancer.   Within the UK, over a third of male skin cancers arise on the trunk of the body, particularly the back.

With the hot weather due to continue, here are some handy tips from Marley Eternit for outdoor workers to keep sun-safe:

1. Keep a shirt or jacket on and opt for tightly woven fabrics, which help to form a barrier to the sun’s harmful rays.
2. Don’t leave exposed skin unprotected. Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and remember to reapply regularly.
3. Wear a hard hat at all times, preferably with a brim and flap that will cover the ears and the back of the neck.
4. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
5. Check your skin regularly for unusual spots and moles or changes to spots and moles.

It is not just construction workers that need to pay attention to the advice.  Employers also need to ensure they make the appropriate provisions, as there can be serious consequences for those who fail to put health and safety measures in place to protect their staff from exposure to the sun.

For more information and to view a full list of measures recommended by Marley Eternit please visit

Here at Marley Eternit, we are always on hand to offer practical and experienced support. Select an option below or call us on 01283 722588.