Sun safety packs at Sun Check stations

‌‌Sun safety packs with items for sun protection before distribution to staff through Sun Check stations

Collect free items for sun protection when working outdoors

4 May 2021

Sun Check is a campaign promoting good workplace health in the sun. This year, we are distributing sun safety packs full of free resources to staff and student groups who are likely to spend time in the sun.

Sun safety packs contain free goodies to give ideas for how to protect yourself when working in the sun, including items that are useful during outdoor work, research trips and fieldtrips, such as:

  • information leaflets
  • pocket cards
  • water bottles
  • sunscreen
  • hats
  • pens

You can pick up a sun safety pack at a Sun Check station if your work involves outdoor activities. Packs are being distributed to the following areas:

  • Department of Anthropology and Archaeology
  • School of Biological Sciences
  • School of Earth Sciences
  • School of Geographical Sciences
  • External Estates

Contact your local SSA to ask when the Sun Check station will pop-up in your area or to reserve a pack. If your area is not listed, contact Claire to request for your local area to be added.

Promotional items for better workplace health in the sun, including a Sun Check branded cap, water bottle, sunscreen, pen, and information leaflets

Sun protection is on the agenda

Sun Awareness Week runs from 3-9 May and it’s also Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May. There’s no better month to raise awareness about staying protected from the sun, but it’s especially important right now because:

  • we are encouraged to spend time outdoors for our safety during the pandemic
  • selected fieldtrips are starting to run again within the UK
  • more foreign travel is likely to be permitted soon and some travel for work is already permitted

Meanwhile, the spring and summer months bring greater levels of UV, which peak in late June. UV is the measure of ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun. It’s what causes sunburn and some UK studies suggest solar radiation levels are getting higher.

Don’t be tempted to estimate UV based on temperature: You can burn just as easily on a bright day in late April as you can in the August sun – and even through clouds.

Benefits and risks of sunshine

Sunlight brings many health benefits including boosting mood, regulating sleep, and providing a primary source of Vitamin D, which contributes to healthy bones, teeth and muscles. However, spending time in the sun also creates health risks.

Although the dangers of sun damage are widely known, the details are often misunderstood, or the consequences are discounted as a problem that will happen to someone else.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world, and people who are regularly outdoors with increased sun exposure have a greater risk of developing skin cancer.

The good news is that skin cancer is preventable: 90% of skin cancer deaths could be prevented by controlling exposure to UV. This why sun protection is so important for people who work outdoors.

Learn more about protecting yourself from the sun

  • Visit the Sun Check page for links to more resources including guidance and digital posters, leaflets and pocket cards.
  • Get involved with Sun Awareness Week from 3-9 May, organised by the British Association of Dermatologists.
  • Read about signs and symptoms of skin cancer from Macmillan Cancer Research for Skin Cancer Awareness month throughout May.
  • Find out more about skin cancer from the British Skin Foundation.
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