Specifier Review
skin cancer construction

Limiting sun exposure for installers and construction workers

 by Ellina Webb ~ Senior Marketing Executive at Mitsubishi Electric

With researchers estimating that 2% of deadly skin cancer cases in Britain affect people working outdoors, Ellina Webb revisits a previous Hub article and looks further into how HVAC installers and construction worker can protect themselves during the summer.

In the HVAC industry there are numerous types of job roles and functions that require work to be undertaken in an outside environment. In fact from a contractor delivering and installing a system to a technician maintaining outdoor units, working outside affects almost everyone who is involved in building services and the built environment.

What’s more, for those who do work outside, research has shown that they are at a significant higher risk of getting skin cancer due to high exposure to UV rays and chemicals. In fact, unlike those who work in other outdoor occupations like agriculture, construction workers especially are at a high risk of skin cancer, highlighting how our industry needs to sit up and take action.

So aside from mitigating the risks on site when it comes to summer safety (wearing appropriate clothing, gloves, shoes and goggles) and avoiding heat stress (stay hydrated), what can you do to limit your exposure to harmful rays?

What is skin cancer?

According to the British Skin Foundation skin cancer affects around 100,000 people year and kills over 2,500. There are 3 types of skin cancer: malignant melanoma; squamous cell carcinoma (SCC); and basal cell carcinoma (BCC).

Malignant melanoma is a cancer of the pigment cells of the skin and is the type we most commonly associate with the illness because it affects the look of our moles.

Squamous cell carcinoma is mostly caused by exposure to UV light; this is one of the forms of cancer most likely to affect a builder and looks like a scabbed spot/ tumour on the surface of the skin.

Basal cell carcinoma is a non-melanoma skin cancer, and is the most common type diagnosed. Again it is caused by exposure to UV light however it mainly affects fair skinned adults. Outside workers are also at high risk of this form and the sign of this is a skin ulcer.

This article was originally featured on The Hub.  To continue reading the next segment, Sun Safety Tips, visit: https://les.mitsubishielectric.co.uk/the-hub/sun-exposure