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Chadwicks Group is encouraging tradesmen to stay safe in the sun this summer

Jun 15, 2020 | Press Releases

Over a third of Irish tradesmen don’t wear sunscreen when working

  • 36% of tradesmen don’t wear sun protection
  • 71% of respondents said their job requires them to spend time outside
  • 46% who don’t wear any sunscreen say they forget to apply it before going to work
  • Chadwicks has free sunscreen stations in its branches nationwide

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 of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) across all sectors including construction.  While construction workers would already be familiar with wearing PPE to go on site, this summer Chadwicks Group is reminding tradesmen of the importance of including sunscreen as an essential part of their PPE.

New research from Chadwicks Group reveals that over a third of tradesmen (36%) admit to not wearing sunscreen and over a quarter (28%) say they only apply it sometimes. This is despite 71% of those polled saying their work requires them to be outdoors for parts of the day.

For those who choose not to wear sun cream, almost half (46%) say they simply forget to apply it each day, while 24% don’t believe the sun in Ireland is strong enough to get burnt. 8% of tradesmen opt not to use sun protection as they say it tends gets into their eyes while working.

With the warm weather set to continue, Chadwicks Group has installed free sunscreen dispensers in its 50 branches nationwide to help its customers and colleagues stay safe while working this summer.

According to the Construction Industry Federation an average sized adult should apply at least 1 teaspoon (6ml) of sunscreen to each arm, leg, front of body and back of body, and 1/2 teaspoon (3ml) of sunscreen to the face, including ears and neck.  The recommendation is to use a high SPF sunscreen, with a minimum SPF30, and to apply liberally to dry skin 15 minutes before UV exposure and every 2-3 hours thereafter. Other means of ensuring protection is to adopt the use of protective clothing such as a hat and neck protection, sunglasses and to work in the shade if possible.

Commenting on the latest findings, Patrick Atkinson, CEO, Chadwicks Group Ireland said: “As the construction industry has returned and continues to adjust to a new normality, it has coincided with a period of warm sunny weather. While people have been enjoying the sunshine, it’s important to remember the sun can pose serious health risks for those who work outside and do not protect themselves against harmful UV rays.

Constructions workers are familiar with wearing PPE such as masks, gloves, glasses and protectives shoes to work, but this summer we want to remind them that sunscreen should also be an essential part of their PPE routine. Our survey shows that many tradesmen are not taking the necessary precautions to keep themselves safe from the sun when working outdoors. To help our customers and colleagues stay safe this summer, we have installed free sunscreen dispensers across all our branches nationwide making it easier than ever to stay safe in the sun.”

On 18th May Chadwicks Group announced the reopening of its 50 branches nationwide to cater for the construction industry. The Group has invested in the region of €200,000 to adapt its operational procedures and to implement rigorous new health and safety protocols. These have been designed to protect customers and colleagues while also making the experience as easy as possible for customers.  All members of the Chadwicks team have undergone training on the new protocols which include hygiene, delivery procedures, social distancing and footfall management.

*Survey carried out among 343 tradesmen in Ireland


SpeakUp is our reporting service for colleagues and anyone (e.g. customers or suppliers) connected to Chadwicks Group (part of Grafton Group) to report concerns. This action, is also commonly known as 'whistleblowing'. If you ever see something in your interaction with Chadwicks Group that could be deemed unsafe, unethical or unscrupulous, please SpeakUp! We take concerns given in good faith very seriously and will not tolerate retaliation of any kind to anyone who reports such instances.

You can raise your concerns through the dedicated SpeakUp website here.

Please note that this service is not to be used for customer service enquiries or issues. Please contact your local Chadwicks Group branch for such enquiries.