Skin cancer is the fifth biggest killer in the UK and agriculture has the second highest cases of occupational skin cancer more than any other industry – showing how those who work outside are most at risk. The 2020 ‘All party parliamentary group on skin’ report showed that outdoor workers were more than twice as likely to develop non-melanoma skin cancer compared to those who work indoors. This report also noted that awareness is worryingly low.
Many of us choose to work outside because we love to be outside. Working outdoors in the UK & Ireland, we are not conscious of working in the UV rays as we are just so pleased to see the sun and work in lovely warm weather. Skin cancer does not discriminate, whether you live and work in the northern or southern hemisphere.
- Use at least factor-15 sun cream when in the sun
- Apply suncream to all exposed skin – remember your face, neck, ears and your head, arms….
- Wear sunglasses and a hat
- Take care if you have fair skin moles or freckles, red or fair hair, or light coloured eyes
- Forestry work often means you’re outside for a long period, so wear clothing to cover up from the sun
- Increase your intake of water in hot weather
Signs & symptoms of skin cancer:
- Watch out for the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole
- Melanomas are uncommon in areas that are protected from sun exposure such as the scalp
- In many cases they have an irregular shape and are more than one colour
- Moles could be larger than normal and could be itchy or bleed
- Watch out for moles that gradually changes shape, size or colour
- If you’re worried, get checked by your GP