Sun safety at outdoor events highlighted at IOSH Ministry of Sound conference
The importance of ensuring workers in the outdoor events industry stay safe in the sun was promoted during an IOSH conference staged at Ministry of Sound.
15 May 2015
The Institution’s Sports Grounds and Events Group hosted an event at the iconic London nightclub on Thursday 14 May to discuss how to respond effectively to safety and health issues within the industry.
The potential health risks of exposure to solar radiation on outdoor event workers were highlighted by Jane White, IOSH’s Head of Research and Information Services.
New research recently released by IOSH through its No Time to Lose occupational cancers campaign found that an average of five people a day in the UK are being diagnosed with skin cancer as a result of working outside.
Jane said: “Sun exposure and skin cancer is a difficult issue that the events industry and any profession involving outdoor working face.
“The sun can have damaging effects and there is a duty of care to a workforce exposed to it for prolonged periods of time regularly. Regardless of whether it is a clear, warm day or cool and cloudy, 80% of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays still come through the atmosphere.
“You might not feel the sun’s warmth but the radiation is still coming through.”
Nodd McDonagh, events operations consultant at Ministry of Sound, said the issue of sun exposure was something that the organisation considered whenever it hosted outdoor events.
He said: “You can be on site from daylight until after dusk. When you are on a build you are working completely in the plain air.
“The thing that can be forgotten is that it’s not just sunny days where there is a risk. It is easy to forget that when it is cold in May that you are actually enjoying the same radiation levels as in August, but it’s not warm to warn you.
“It’s those times at the beginning of the season that you have got to remember that as well.”
Nodd added: “I have just been for a skin check myself because outside of Ministry of Sound work, a lot of my work involves outside festivals and I am exposed. I am conscious of putting sunscreen on but I will forget the back of my neck.”
The event also featured presentations on Ministry of Sound’s evolution and how it safely provides music and special effects in a working environment, and discussions led by industry experts on drugs and legal highs and policing charges at events.
Contact Tim Walsh, IOSH Media Manager