Protecting your team from the sun

Golf clubs aren’t bound by the law to provide sun-related PPE for their teams, but the Slip! Slap! Swing! campaign believes facilities should be looking at the bigger picture.

Widely supported by the golf industry, Slip! Slap! Swing! is the UK’s leading sun protection campaign for golf. Getting ‘Sun Protection Accredited’ will provide you with up-to-date resources, including sunscreen support, to benefit the health and wellbeing of your staff, members, and visitors. Your club will become part of growing community within golf, helping to create national impact on skin cancer.

Concentrating on the support clubs should offer their teams, Michelle Baker CEO of the Melanoma Fund, the charity behind the campaign explains:

Although there is no legal obligation for employers to provide sunscreen or sunglasses for outdoor workers, there is certainly a moral one and, at the very least, employers should consider providing sun protection advice as part of their overall health and safety training.

  • Health & Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines state that UV radiation should be considered an occupational hazard for those who work outdoors.  It also states that employers are to encourage staff to use sun protection cream. 
  • Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC) is the most common cancer in the UK, with more than 152,000 new cases diagnosed every year – the equivalent of 416 every day. This is more than breast, prostate and lung cancers combined. By 2025 there are expected to be almost 400,000 NMSC diagnoses a year.
  • Outdoor workers, such as greenkeepers, are more than twice as likely to develop NMSC as those that work indoors, because of increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun.
  • In 2018, Occupational Medicine published ‘Greenkeepers Sunburn & Cancer Risk’, a survey of 154 greenkeepers, revealed that greenkeepers do not use sufficient protection against sunburn and skin cancer, with two-thirds more concerned about hit by a stray ball than, they were about sunburn.
  • In 2019 a survey by SC Johnson Professional discovered that 87% of non-wearers of sun cream stated that there was no UV protection product made available in their workplace.

Under Regulation 4 of the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, employees must be provided with ‘suitable’ PPE which is appropriate for conditions in the workplace. In terms of suitability, the code of practice suggests that consideration be given to environmental factors such as the weather, if working outside.

Regulation 11 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 provides that all outdoor workstations should, so far as is reasonably practicable, provide protection from adverse weather conditions, including heat.

Other applicable legislation includes:

  • Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

Although all workers should take steps to protect themselves, employers are under a duty of care to consider implementing measures, such as:

  • Shading employees from direct sunlight
  • The provision of fans or air-cooling equipment
  • Ensuring hats and other suitable clothing is worn
  • Suitable rest breaks
  • SPF30+ Sunscreen
  • Scheduling work during a cooler time of day or year
  • Additional supplies of drinking water
  • Educating workers

The Melanoma Fund created the Slip! Slap! Swing! campaign to educate and create better habits to help keep skin cancer OFF the fairway, for both golfers and greenkeepers.

Getting ‘Sun Protection Accredited’ is now FREE and offers a toolkit of resources and benefits, making implementation easy and effective, protecting the health and wellbeing of your staff, members and clients, all summer long.

As well as advice, the charity also provides accredited clubs discounted sunscreen dispensers and refills – ideal for greenkeeping staff – and 100ml tubes of Stokoderm at trade prices, offering profitable opportunities in the pro shop.  

Click here to learn more.

By GCMA Content Team

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