Sunburn can be very painful and can lead to staff sickness and absence so it is well worth employers educating staff, particularly for those working outside.
Most people think about sunburn as something that happens on holiday, or in hot sunny places. But sunburn can happen just as easily at home, especially between May and September in the UK.
In fact, you can get burned just as easily at home or at work and many cases happen when people are not deliberately ‘sunbathing’. You can suffer sun burn working outdoors, watching or playing sport, doing the gardening or just sitting in the park.
What is sunburn?
If your skin has gone red in the sun, it’s sunburnt. Sunburn is a clear sign that UV (ultraviolet) radiation from the sun has damaged your skin.
Any sunburn, at any age, increases the risk of skin cancer and a study by the British Dermatology Society in 2015 revealed that 72% of UK adults had a sunburn within the last year.
Work and care in the sun
Workers in the UK spend different amounts of time outdoors.
- If you work indoors then you still need to think about sun protection during your lunch break and after work over the summer months.
- However, if you work outdoors, you need to be particularly vigilant, as your skin is likely to be regularly exposed to the damaging effects of the sun over a long period of time.
So, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself against sunburn:
- Seek shade – especially during your breaks
- Cover up – face, neck, eyes, head, chest and arms
- Use a sunscreen
Cutting the cost of sickness absence
UK occupational health experts, Medigold Health, can work with your company to provide ongoing preventative health advice, including against sunburn, to ensure that your employees are looking after themselves well.
Our aim, at Medigold, is to reduce the cost of sickness absence for your firm by helping your employees to make the right health and lifestyle choices and sustain them.