NHS “Cover Up, Mate” Sun Safety Campaign Launched As Skin Cancer In Men Continues To Rise

NHS “Cover Up, Mate” Sun Safety Campaign Launched As Skin Cancer In Men Continues To Rise:
To: All Branches
Dear Colleagues,
A new NHS awareness campaign has been launched in the South of England to encourage Outdoor Workers and men in particular who work outdoors to protect themselves from the sun, thereby reducing their risk of contracting skin cancer. The CWU has joined up with the NHS to support and promote the “Cover Up, Mate” Campaign messages.
Outdoor Workers who spend long periods of time outside are again being urged to protect themselves against the sun this summer amid a rise in the number of people being diagnosed with skin cancer.
Outdoor Workers are being targeted by NHS England South’s “Cover Up, Mate” campaign because of their prolonged exposure to the sun – and men are a particular focus because research indicates that they are much less likely than women to cover up and to slap on the ‘Sunscreen’.
NHS England South Medical Director, Nigel Acheson, stated recently that you can’t feel UV radiation, so it’s very easy to get sunburnt in the UK, even when it’s not particularly warm. But sunburn causes skin cancer so it’s important people take more care, especially men and those who work outside. They need to use Sunscreen with a good level of UV-A protection and apply it generously on all exposed skin.
Latest statistics from UK Charity ‘Cancer Research’ show that since the late 1970s, skin cancer incidence rates have more than quadrupled (360% increase) in the UK. The increase is larger in males where rates have increased more than six-fold (544% increase), than in females where rates have more than tripled (263% increase).
Latest statistics from Public Health England show that in the South West there was a 32% rise in incidences of malignant melanoma between 2009 and 2014, from 1,444 cases to 1,906 cases. There was also a 14.5% rise in mortality from malignant melanoma, from 248 deaths in 2009 to 284 deaths in 2014.
In the South East there was a 33% rise in incidences of malignant melanoma between 2009 and 2014, from 2,002 cases to 2,661 cases. There was also a 20% rise in mortality from malignant melanoma, from 349 deaths in 2009 to 420 deaths in 2014.
Many local areas across the south have higher rates of malignant melanoma than the national average.
Being outdoors is clearly crucial for Postal Workers, BT Workers and others, and for people who take part in a lot of outdoor sport, but there are simple steps that can be taken to lower the risk of skin cancer and be sun safe.
Men in particular need to take much more care. They need to cover up and importantly use at least factor 30 sunscreen and apply it generously on all exposed skin – not forgetting their necks, ears and bald patches!
Sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer which can develop slowly over time. So while sunburn might feel better in a few days, it may have done long term damage which could be fatal.
People often want to brush things off and just get on with the job, but there are times when that kind of resilience can come back and bite you and this is one of those.
We owe it to ourselves and our families to take the risk of skin cancer seriously and above all if we are bothered by something to not dismiss it, but get it checked out. It’s vital that Postal Workers in particular as well as outdoor BT Engineers get sun-smart and take steps to protect their skin – such as using sun cream and preferably covering-up by wearing a long-sleeved shirt and a hat as issued by the employers. All these measures can help to prevent sunburn in the first place and avoid the UV damage that can lead to skin cancer over time.
The UK Met Office have stated that UV levels are usually highest between May and September, when there is often less ozone high up in the atmosphere to absorb the UV. Clouds don't always stop UV rays, and unlike the sun's warmth, it's difficult to know when they may be harming you. Burning just once every two years can triple your risk of skin cancer. So it's important to keep an eye on our UV forecast so you know when it's essential to protect your skin and eyes from damage.
Top sun-safe skin-smart tips include:-
• Cover-up.
• Use at least factor 30 sunscreen in the sun and use plenty of it.
• Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin – don’t forget your neck and ears and your head if you have thinning or no hair.
• Wear sunglasses and a hat.
• Take particular care if have fair skin, moles or freckles, red or fair hair, or light-coloured eyes.
• Also – drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and heat-related illness.
NHS/CWU ‘Cover-Up-Mate’ Poster (See pdf copy attached)
Would Branches and Health and Safety Reps use the attached poster to run local awareness raising campaigns amongst members to get the message out loud and clear about this very serious risk. Further copies of the Posters can be ordered from CWU/HQ.
When ordering further Poster copies – send orders to:-
Debby Akerman Print Services Manager
Email dakerman@cwu.org
Direct line 020 8971 7218
Communication Workers Union Headquarters
150 The Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1RX
Price per hundred:-
100 A3 posters: £14.00
100 A4 posters: £7.00
100 postcards: £2.75
Plus P&P
Yours sincerely
Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

Email Attachments – Click to download

Attachment 1 – LTB450/17 NHS “Cover Up, Mate” Sun Safety Campaign Launched As Skin Cancer In Men Continues To Rise:

Attachment 2 – cwu-0539217-NHS-cover-campaign-v4


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