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UCATT WARNING ON CONSTRUCTION SKIN CANCER RISK

Study report prompts construction trades union to call for decisive action

Construction union UCATT are calling on the construction industry to take decisive action to ensure that the risk of construction workers developing skin cancer is dramatically reduced. 

The call comes after a recent report by the Society of Occupational Medicine, found that some construction workers were nine times more likely to develop skin cancer than other workers from similar social groups. 

Dr Raymond Agius, who led the research team said

“Construction workers are an important focus of our research. Many are unaware that their work can put their health at risk of a whole range of conditions including asbestos induced tumours, serious skin conditions and skin cancer. More work is needed to support and inform them.”

The reports states that construction workers can easily reduce the risk of developing skin cancer by: applying high factor sun screen, drinking plenty of water, wearing long sleeved loose-fitting tops and regularly checking their skin for changes. 

First class occupational health schemes required

UCATT believe that a dearth of occupational health schemes throughout the construction industry means that workers are not receiving potentially life saving information on skin cancer and other vital health issues, where simple changes in working practices and lifestyle attitudes can have a massive affect on the long term health of construction workers. 

George Guy, Acting General Secretary of construction union UCATT, said:

“This study demonstrates the huge risk that construction workers face of developing skin cancer. It is essential that everyone involved in the industry ensures that construction workers are given the full information about the risks they face and the preventative measures they need to take to reduce those dangers.

 The vast majority of construction workers have no access to occupational health schemes, this can have massive long term consequences on their health. UCATT are trying to work with employers to promote first class occupational health schemes, but many remain highly reluctant to introduce such schemes.” 

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