Wednesday 1 May 2024

SKCIN Launches Groundbreaking Sun Safe Workplaces Accreditation Programme for Employers of Outdoor Workers.


SKCIN, a charity that specialises in the prevention and early detection of skin cancer through educational intervention, has unveiled its pioneering Sun Safe Workplaces national accreditation programme. With a pressing need to address the elevated risk of skin cancer among outdoor workers, the charity urges employers to get on board and take proactive steps in addressing this moral and legal imperative.

Solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) emitted by the Sun is classified as a known human carcinogen, responsible for a staggering 90% of all skin cancer cases. This places outdoor workers in one of the highest-risk groups for developing the disease.

Skin cancer is more commonly diagnosed than all other malignancies combined. Recent statistics state that in the UK, 1 in 4 men / 1 in 5 women will develop skin cancer and due to prolonged and repeated sun exposure, outdoor workers are on average at 60% greater risk.

The predominance of males across the UK outdoor workforce is another major concern as statistics further reveal that the Incidence of skin cancer is growing at twice the rate in men than that for women, and men are 69% more likely to die from the disease.

The facts are compelling and highlight the pivotal role of employers in ensuring UV exposure is addressed as a serious occupational hazard.

Marie Tudor, CEO of SKCIN, emphasised the urgency of the issue: “ With rates of skin cancer rising faster than any other, (predicted to reach in excess of 400,000 annual cases by 2025) - these statistics provide only a snapshot of what the future holds. Urgent action is needed to combat this major public health concern and to save lives and suffering from this devastating disease”.

A moral and legal imperative for Industry leaders, employers and HSRs

The law mandates employers to provide a safe working environment, this includes taking steps to ensure workers are protected against UV exposure which includes:
• Assessing the level risk imposed by solar UV radiation
• Putting in place a robust sun protection policy, and
• The provision of information, instruction, training and supervision to ensure their safety

Beyond compliance, there is an ethical responsibility to prioritise employee well-being and ensure their long-term health.

Empowering employees through education is the linchpin of change.

With 90% of skin cancer cases preventable and almost all cases curable if detected and diagnosed early, empowering employees through education is the linchpin of change.

Comprehensive training on sun-safe practices, recognising the early signs of skin cancer, and conducting regular self-examinations, has the power to save lives.

By educating employees, organisations can foster a culture of skin health, drive much needed attitudinal and behavioural change, and play a powerful role in combating the rising incidence of skin cancer in the UK.

Skin cancer legal cases serve as a wake up call to industry

Industries should take note and be warned by skin cancer judgements in Australia where verdicts are highlighting the importance of sun safety in the workplace. Outdoor workers from various industries who have developed skin cancer as a result of over exposure to UV radiation have been awarded significant damages, establishing that skin cancer can be a serious occupational injury.

These rulings are extremely significant, putting sun protection on the agenda with other well known occupational health and safety issues. With civil claims on the grounds of skin cancer increasing in the UK, it’s time for industry leads, employers and HSRs to take action and provide evidence of their commitment.

Sun Safe Workplaces - A national, cost effective, dedicated solution

“Addressing Sun Safety in the workplace is not quick tick box exercise. A simple tool box talk and access to sunscreen, albeit a step in the right direction, simply isn’t going to cut the mustard.” says Kathryn Clifford, Co-founder of SKCIN.

“Investing in the quality education of employees is critical and the continued commitment of stakeholders vital in driving behavioural change. Having the tools and resources with which to implement a comprehensive sun protection programme, effectively manage every aspect with ease, and monitor programme effectiveness is paramount for employers and HSRs faced with the task - particularly across large organisations.”

Following two years of development, SKCIN are proud to deliver a comprehensive, cost effective, nationally accessible solution, providing registered workplaces with the following tools and resources:

• Sun Safe Workplaces Employer’s Guide:
A comprehensive guide to understanding the relationship between solar UVR and skin cancer, and confidently addressing UV exposure in the workplace.

• Solar UVR Risk Assessment and Review of Sun Protection Control Measures:
An on-line management tool used to identify the level of risk imposed based on environmental, work system & hazardous factors, and to clarify which control measures are already in place and where areas of improvement can be made to lower risk.

• Sun Protection Policy:
An on-line management tool to assist employers in tailoring a robust Sun Protection Policy to suit the needs and practicalities of their own organisation.

• Supportive Awareness Resources:
A wide range of supportive digital and printed resources with which to create on-site awareness, conduct safety briefings and reinforce key messaging among employees.

• Comprehensive Employee Training:
A comprehensive training programme that can be delivered to employees in face-to-face group sessions or undertaken remotely in an employees own time. The one hour training session is divided into a series of short educational films, multiple choice questions and interactive learning to engage, educate, empower and equip employees, covering the following essential topics:

• Understanding UV radiation and skin cancer causes and risk factors.
Understanding the UV Index and how to reduce the risk of skin cancer
How to perform thorough, full-body skin examinations
• How to detect the early signs of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer and confidently take action with concerns

Upon completion, trainees are provided with a certificate of completion, their personal skin cancer risk assessment and supportive digital resources to reinforce key messaging.

• Dedicated Administration Panel:
A simple, easy to use administration panel allows workplaces to work through the steps required to gain their accreditation, effectively host training sessions, onboard trainees for remote training, monitor trainee progress and provide evidence of completion.

• Metrics and Reporting Data:
Access to metrics and reporting data to provide an on-going, visual and statistical overview of various aspects of the training, enabling workplaces to gain valuable insights, evaluate learning outcomes and monitor programme effectiveness.

• Accredited Workplace Resources:
Workplaces that apply for their accreditation, subject to criteria being met are awarded their accreditation certificate, logo, example press release and social media assets with which to promote their achievement.

Annual Renewal Process:
An annual renewal process is in place to assist employers in their need to review, evaluate and reinforce policy, procedures and education.

Call to ACTION!

May is national Skin Cancer Awareness Month and with UV levels rising, there’s no better time for employers to get on-board. For further information, pricing structure and to register go to:

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