In 2019, 136 outdoor workers participated in SC Johnson Professional’s survey regarding their UV protection habits during that summer (one of the hottest on record).
It was found that only 1 in 4 wore protective sun cream whilst at work, citing the effort involved as the main reason they did not use any. In contrast to this, 72% of respondents claimed that they would use protective sun cream whilst on holiday, demonstrating a lack of awareness of the risks from UV in the UK as well as the need for a shift in attitudes when it comes to UV protection at work.
In reviewing the data, SC Johnson Professional surmised that a large number of health and safety professionals believe that the workforce is increasingly unaware of the dangers posed by UV radiation from the sun. This then suggests that much more still needs to be done across organisations to raise awareness of this issue.
Seeking to find out what was needed in terms of training, SC Johnson Professional found that health and safety professionals recognised the gap in knowledge yet felt unequipped to address it. 1 in 2 respondents surveyed carried out no training on when and how to use UV protection, and just 37% of them stated that they themselves had had the correct training to equip them to implement UV protection programmes in their organisations. 63% of respondents were either unsure or did not have enough information to enable them to carry out UV protection training programmes to their employees; in the utilities sector, for example, (with the highest proportion of employees who regularly worked outdoors) this number worryingly rose to 75%.
Training emerged a key finding from the 2020 survey. Of those health and safety professionals with a majority of employees working outdoors, 1 in 3 said that they did not have enough information to brief workers on the dangers of UV exposure and 41% stated that they wanted clearer regulatory requirements to help them with this. 43% of professionals wanted better data and information on the risks posed by UV radiation in the UK.
Taking these insights on board, SC Johnson Professional have developed a suite of easy-to-use training resources, specifically designed for employees who work outdoors and for health and safety professionals to implement as part of a skin care training programme.
Ideal for raising awareness around the risks of over exposure to the sun and advising on best practice, the training includes a range of resources. Toolbox Talks help health and safety professionals to deliver quality, informative training, and videos illustrate real-life case studies and simple facts to bring home the reality of over-exposure. The training highlights the ‘5 S approach’ – slip, slop, slap, slide and shade – an approach which can significantly contribute to the prevention of excessive UV exposure.
In February 2020 skin care experts SC Johnson Professional surveyed health and safety professionals on UV practice and protection in their workplace, building on worker research conducted over the previous two years. Striving to deliver enhanced training and end user support, as well as looking to raising awareness of this important issue, SC Johnson Professional’s research aimed to learn more about general UV awareness in industry, what protection was provided to employees, if and how training was implemented and what health and safety professionals were looking for in terms of best practice guidance.