CWU “Sun Smart-Skin Safe” Campaign – Look after your skin and stay safe in the sun:
To: All Branches
As the UK heatwave continues with temperatures hitting records of 35C (95F), the Health, Safety & Environment Department is taking the opportunity to warn members about the risks associated with hot weather, dehydration, sun stroke and Skin Cancer through sunlight/UV ray exposure.
Dangers of UV rays
The short-term risks of sun exposure are sunburn and sunstroke.
The longer-term risks (over decades) include:
• actinic (solar) keratoses – rough and scaly pre-cancerous spots on the skin
• eye problems – such as photokeratitis (snow blindness) and cataracts
• premature ageing of the skin and wrinkling
Here is some important advice regarding firstly, following the 5 S’s and secondly, the message “early detection saves lives so act quickly and seek advice”.
The FIVE S’s of Sun Safety
The main cause of skin cancer is exposure to sunlight or sunbeds. Remember, it is not just sunbathing that puts people at risk, but just being in the sun without adequate protection. If you’re an outdoor worker and/or take part in outdoor hobbies, activities or sport you will be at greater risk.
Sunburn increases the risk of Skin Cancer and a Sun Tan isn’t healthy! It indicates that the skin has been damaged! And that damage stays there increasing the person’s risk of skin cancer.
To keep safe and make sure you NEVER BURN you should follow the 5 S’s of Sun Safety:-
1 SHOULDERS – COVER UP – The Royal Mail Clothing Fabrics are ‘UV protective’ so always try and keep your shoulders and body covered up.
2 SUN HAT – Always wear a broad-brimmed hat that shades your face, neck and ears – Royal Mail provide these as part of the Uniform so order one and use it.
3 SUNSCREEN – Apply a good quality SPF 30+/ min 3 star rating sunscreen with broad spectrum UVA protection, to exposed areas of skin – making sure you use enough and reapply every 2 hours.
4 SUNGLASSES – Wear wrap-around sunglasses with UV protection to give your eyes adequate protection from the sun’s rays.
5 SHADE – Always seek shade whenever you can, particularly during the hottest time of the day between 11am-3pm and when you have breaks if your job keeps you out in it.
Be wary of dehydration – the lack of sufficient water in the body. The best way to beat dehydration is to drink before you get thirsty. If you wait until after you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Water is important to the body at all times, but especially in warm weather. It keeps the body from overheating. When you exercise or work, your muscles generate heat. To keep from burning up, your body needs to get rid of that heat. The main way the body discards heat in warm weather is through sweat. As sweat evaporates, it cools the tissues beneath. Lots of sweating reduces the body’s water level, and this loss of fluid affects normal bodily functions so you need to replace the fluid. Take Water with you when working outside and drink plenty.
Detecting skin cancers early save lives – FACT! Particularly in the case of Melanoma, the deadliest form of the disease. It is important to check your skin regularly for signs of change, and consult your doctor immediately if you detect any changes particularly with moles, or if you’re unsure of any unusual marks, patches, sores or spots, no matter how small they are – get the GP to check it out.
Look after your skin, stay safe in the sun! – Don’t become a statistic and enjoy the sun SAFELY.
For further information about the prevention and early detection of skin cancer and to find out more see attached pdf’s.
CWU “Sun Smart – Skin Safe” Safety Code Campaign Material
See attached posters and pocket fact cards.
Branches and Regional Health and Safety Forums can purchase additional posters and pocket fact cards from CWU HQ:
A batch of 10 posters = £1.40; and 50 posters = £7.00
A batch of 10 pocket fact cards = 68p; and 50 pocket fact cards = £2.89
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer