FIRMS COULD GET BURNT BY SUNBURN

CONSTRUCTION companies are being warned to ensure their building workers slap on the sun block or face millions of pounds worth of potential damages claims for negligence. Insurance broker and risk management consultant Aon says sunburn, which can cause s

CONSTRUCTION companies are being warned to ensure their building workers slap on the sun block or face millions of pounds worth of potential damages claims for negligence.

Insurance broker and risk management consultant Aon says sunburn, which can cause skin cancer, could be the biggest new threat to the building industry since asbestos, by generating huge employers' liability claims over the coming decades.

Employers are legally responsible for the health and safety of their employees at work and construction workers could potentially claim negligence against their current or former employer years after their contract or employment has finished.

Nigel Geary, team leader for Aon Construction Direct, said: "As temperatures soar this summer, builders need to think realistically about protecting their employees from the potential cancerous effects of working out in the sun all day.


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"By including sun protection in your health and safety policy, you will be able to more effectively defend a claim if a former employee tries to prove negligence on your part for their illness."

Cancer Research UK has been taking its SunSmart campaign, which warns of the risks of over exposure to the sun, on the road to the nation's building sites.

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The charity is distributing information about early detection in the form of posters and leaflets to almost 6,000 construction and agricultural firms across the UK, along with unions and all UK health professionals.

This year the SunSmart campaign is focusing on outdoor workers in an effort to raise awareness that it isn't just by sunbathing during holidays and leisure time that can give you skin cancer, but that you can be at risk while at work too.

People who work outside and whose faces, arms and legs are constantly exposed to sun are more likely to be diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer.

Those most at risk are people with fair skin, lots of moles or freckles or a family history of skin cancer. They need to take extra care and check their skin regularly for early signs of skin cancer.

Lynn Daly, for Cancer Research UK, said: "Skin cancer can grow from a mole, freckle or a normal patch of skin. If people notice any changes in size, shape or colour, that happen over weeks or months, they should see their doctor without delay.

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