New research by Chadwicks Group has revealed that over one third (36%) of construction workers do not wear sunscreen at work, and the building materials supplier is reminding tradesmen to now include sunscreen as an essential part of their PPE this summer.

With construction work returning to normality across the country as part of the easing of lockdown restrictions, there has been renewed awareness of the importance PPE across all industry sectors including construction. 

Patrick Atkinson, CEO of Chadwicks Group Ireland (pictured below) said: “As the construction industry continues to adjust to a new normality, it has coincided with a period of warm sunny weather….and the sun can pose serious health risks for those who work outside and do not protect themselves against harmful UV rays.”

Commenting on the latest findings, he said that their survey shows that many tradesmen do not take the necessary precautions to keep themselves safe from the sun when working outdoors. “While constructions workers are familiar with wearing PPE such as masks, gloves, glasses and protectives shoes to work, this summer we want to remind them that sunscreen should also be an essential part of their PPE routine,” he added.

Chadwicks Group has installed free sunscreen dispensers across its 50 branches nationwide to help customers and colleagues stay safe at work this summer, as part of its investment in the region of €200,000 to adapt its operational procedures in implementing rigorous new health and safety protocols.

The survey, which was carried out among 343 tradesmen in Ireland, revealed that almost half (46%) say they simply forget to apply sun cream each day, 24% don’t believe the sun in Ireland is strong enough to get burnt, while 8% opt not to use sun protection as they say it tends gets into their eyes while working.

The recommendation is to apply a high SPF sunscreen liberally to dry skin 15 minutes before UV exposure and every two to three hours thereafter, in addition to using protective clothing such as a hat and neck protection, sunglasses and to work in the shade if possible.