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Over a third of tradespeople don’t wear sunscreen

Aug 25, 2021 | General News, Press Releases

Chadwicks Group partners with Dr Clodagh O’Shea to remind tradespeople to be safe in the sun

With temperatures set to soar this week, new research from Chadwicks Group, Ireland’s leading builders’ merchants reveals that over a third (35%) of tradespeople don’t apply sunscreen when working outdoors.

The research of almost 700 tradespeople into their sun protections habits reveals that despite 54% spending up to four hours working outside each day, a quarter believe they don’t need to wear sunscreen. Almost half (41%) claim they shun the factor 50 because they don’t burn easily while a further 14% say they sweat a lot while working so don’t see the point in applying it!

It seems that even those who are applying sunscreen are not applying it often enough. A third only apply sunscreen once a day while 27% say they try and put on SPF twice a day. In general, it is advised to apply sunscreen every two hours.*

According to recent CSO figures** up to a quarter of skin cancer death in Ireland are among workers in the construction, outdoor and farming sectors. With temperatures set to soar this week, Chadwicks Group is reminding those working outdoors to protect themselves from the sun.

With the spell of good weather predicted for rest of the week, the builders’ merchant has teamed up with Dr Clodagh O’Shea from Beacon Face & Dermatology to provide some top tips on how to stay safe in the sun.

  1. Check the rating: When choosing a sunscreen, ensure it is at least SPF 30 and has a star rating of at least 4. It is important your sunscreen offers “broad spectrum” protection also.
  2. Apply generously: Most people probably achieve a mean sun protection factor (SPF) of between 20% and 50% of that expected from the product label because they do not apply enough product. Remember, 30ml (a shot glass) of sunscreen is required for the whole body. If applying only face and neck, two finger lengths of sunscreen is required.
  1. Look for key ingredients: If you are working outside for long periods of time in wet or windy weather conditions, it is best to choose a “physical sunscreen”. This type of sunscreen works by sitting on top of the skin to deflect damaging UV rays away from the skin.Look for ingredients such as titanium oxide or zinc oxide in the list of ingredients to determine if the sunscreen is physical. Physical sunscreens offer protection from both UVA and UVB rays and offer protection as soon as it’s applied so there’s no need to wait before heading outdoors.
  2. Waterproof vs water resistant: There is no such thing as ‘waterproof sunscreen’. However, if a sunscreen is described as ‘water-resistant’, this means the SPF is still effective after 40 minutes of water immersion. Bear this in mind when working outside in the unpredictable Irish weather.
  3. Make it part of your daily routine: Most importantly, sunscreen should be worn every single day of the year, no excuses!



**Based on 2018 CSO figures

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.