In last week’s edition of BC Disease News (here), we reported that sponsors of this year’s Multi-Stakeholder Summit on Occupational Skin Cancer, in co-operation with patient advocacy groups, workers unions, occupational safety and health professionals, social security representatives, dermatologists and oncologists, had issued a Global Call to Action to have non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) officially recognised as an ‘occupational disease’, EU-wide, within the next legislative period.
At the French Summit, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health No Time To Lose campaign gave a presentation on solar radiation. It was highlighted that between 2 and 3 million cases of NMSC are registered every year, while the annual healthcare costs attributed to work-related ultraviolet radiation (UVR) across Europe are deemed to be as high as €853 million.
This week (6-12 May) is Sun Awareness Week and NTTL has urged employers to implement so-called ‘sun safety strategies’ to protect UVR-exposed workers, such as:
- Providing regular updates on the UV index from weather forecasts;
- Minimising sun exposure in the middle of the day;
- Potentially swapping jobs among team members at regular intervals; and
- Asking employees to wear long-sleeved, loose-fitting tops and trousers.[i]
NTTL has pronounced that ‘90 per cent of all skin cancer deaths can be prevented if businesses – and their employees – take proper precautions’. The latest figures on clinical diagnoses indicate that each year, there are ‘at least 1,500 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) and 240 new cases of malignant melanoma linked to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure at work’.
[i] ‘Businesses urged to save lives by promoting good sun safety’ (7 May 2019 No Time To Lose) <https://www.notimetolose.org.uk/news-and-events/businesses-urged-to-save-lives-by-promoting-good-sun-safety/> accessed 8 May 2019.