UV rays from the sun offer us many benefits, such as boosting our vitamin D levels and immune system. However, when exposed for too long, without protection, UV rays are strong enough to damage the skin and increase the risk of developing skin cancer.
Outdoor workers have a higher than average chance of developing skin cancer and vehicle drivers and welders are at risk too, yet 90% of skin cancer deaths could be prevented.
Employers have a duty of care to protect their employees from hazards in the workplace and according to HSE guidelines, UV radiation should be considered an occupational hazard for people who work outdoors.
The Health and Safety at Work Act makes it clear that there is a legal duty on every employer to ensure, as far as reasonably practical, the health of their employees.
It also says that employers must provide “information, instruction, training and supervision” to ensure their safety.
The Management of Health and Work Regulations also require the employer to conduct a suitable risk assessment of the risks to the health of their workforce including the risks from UV radiation.*