Skin cancer is one of the occupational diseases with the highest number of suspected cases. Those most affected are employees who work partly or completely outdoors. About 90 % of all skin cancers are caused by excessive UV exposure and Britain sees 1,700 people diagnosed every year as a direct cause of occupational sun exposure[1] . These diseases could be avoided through effective UV protection. That is why the specialist in occupational skin protection, SC Johnson Professional® aims to continue to educate people about the risks of UV radiation and how to protect themselves effectively.

Spending too much time outdoors can be the cause of skin cancer because the sun’s ultraviolet rays penetrate deep into the skin unnoticed and can damage the cells in the short and long term. Sunburn is skin damage and your body’s response to try to repair it. As well as a clear sign that the DNA in your skin cells has been damaged by too much UV radiation. A painful sunburn just once every two years can triple the risk of the malignant melanoma skin cancer, malignant melanoma[2] it is crucial that health and safety professionals are aware of these risks and are equipped to best prevent their workforce from harm or injury in the workplace. Those who are exposed to intensive sunlight due to their occupation are considered to be particularly at risk. Occupational groups affected include workers in the construction industry, but also in agriculture, logistics, sports and childcare.   

Five Measures That Effectively Protect

Companies can effectively protect their employees from UV radiation with five effective measures:

1.            Slip on sun protective Clothing

2.            Slop on Sunscreen

3.            Slap on hat

4.            Slide on sunglasses

5.            Seek shade

These measures effectively minimise the risks of UV radiation.

Clouds Do Not Protect Against UV Radiation

In practice, it often turns out that the measures are only consistently implemented when the sun is shining brightly. But did you know that UV rays can penetrate clouds and textiles. An overcast sky and shady places reduce the intensity of the sun, but UV radiation is still active and can damage the skin.

The UV index, which provides information about the current irradiance, is helpful for deciding which protective measures should be implemented. UV protection is necessary from when the UV index reaches 3 and you can check the UV level in your area by visiting the the Met Office website.

The Different Types Of UV

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is an invisible type of radiation produced by the sun. There are three distinct types: UVA, UVB and UVC rays.

  • UVA rays contribute to skin burning, skin cancer and premature ageing. They have a longer wavelength, which means they are able to penetrate deeper into the base layer of the skin.
  • UVB rays have slightly more energy than UVA rays. They can damage the DNA in skin cells directly and are the main rays that cause sunburns.
  • UVC rays are created artificially during industrial processes, such as welding.
Man wearing PPE next to telephone mast

Time To Protect – Time To Care

When choosing a suitable sunscreen, the choice should go to a product formulated for professional use with a high SPF protection and that protects against UVA, UVB, and UVC rays

Stokoderm® SUN PROTECT 50 PURE by SC Johnson Professional is a professional UV skin protection lotion with sun protection factor 50 that reliably protects against the harmful effects of UVA, UVB and UVC rays. In addition to the protective effect, the focus during development was on the caring effect for the skin. It is waterproof, fragrance- and silicone-free and precisely tailored to the requirements of outdoor workers. The moisturiser glycerine gives the user a pleasant, supple skin feeling.

Apart from the choice of product, correct application is crucial. When it comes to sunscreen, the rule is: a lot helps a lot. The following can be used as a guideline: Half a teaspoon of product is needed to effectively protect the face. For the whole body, about 6 teaspoons of product are needed. Applying an insufficient amount of product reduces the protective performance. Plus, did you know that Sunscreens should be reapplied at least every 2 hours or more frequently if sweating or washing.


[2], 2019