Putting our region's cancer needs first

North West Housebuilder Backs Sun Safety Pledge

Stewart Milne Homes, one of the largest housebuilders in the North West, has become the first major business to back an annual campaign designed to protect outdoor workers from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays.

Stuart Milne staff

The Manchester headquartered housebuilder which has developments across the region, and employs around 100 staff – 70 of which work outdoors on a daily basis – is backing North West Cancer Research’s Sun Safety Pledge, to encourage sun safety among its employees.

The joint initiative between Public Health Liverpool and North West Cancer Research, launched on last week’s summer solstice – the longest day of the year – which sees the number of daylight hours and hours of sun exposure increase for the summer months. 

Now in its second year, the Sun Safety Pledge has been created to encourage employers to put outdoor worker’s safety front of mind by raising awareness of the importance of using adequate sun protection when working outside.

A toolkit to help employers educate employees is available to download online. Advice includes covering up and using sun cream during the summer months when the rays from the sun are strongest, paying attention to ears, necks and lips. 

Employers such as Stewart Milne Homes are also encouraged to promote the use of sun protection and to provide sun cream, as well as raise awareness of the symptoms of skin cancer and highlight the importance of early diagnosis with employees.

Stewart Milne Homes has now provided sun cream samples from the campaign’s sun cream partner SunSense UK for its outdoor workers in all staff recreational areas.

Paul Challinor, Managing Director, Stewart Milne Homes North West, said: “The health and wellbeing of our employees is paramount to our values as an employer and with such a large portion of our people spending time outdoors each day, this was an initiative we immediately wanted to get involved in.

“As part of the Sun Safety Pledge we have now installed awareness posters and shared leaflets across all of our teams and have ensured there are sun cream samples for our employees to access in communal areas.

“The sun may not have made too much of an appearance so far this summer, but harmful rays can still break through clouds, so it’s important we share this potentially lifesaving information.

“We hope our employees welcome this advice and take adequate measures to protect themselves when working outside.”

North West Cancer Research and Liverpool City Council are now hoping more businesses and organisations will follow Stewart Milne Homes lead and sign up to the pledge – especially as we enter the summer months.

Alastair Richards, CEO North West Cancer Research, said: “We already know that skin cancer rates are on the rise here in the North West and we want to ensure the messages relating to sun protection are reaching those most at risk and that includes people who work outdoors.

“As one of the biggest housebuilders in the North West, we are delighted that Stewart Milne Homes has come on board and committed to supporting our Sun Safety Pledge.

“Over exposure to UV rays can be harmful and we want employers and employees to get the message about the importance of sun protection when at work.”

Sandra Davies, Director Public Health Liverpool, added: “Sun protection is vital in combatting the high rates of skin cancer diagnosis in the region, and it is something that employers should support, and employees should have access to while at work. Last year several businesses across the North West signed up to join the pledge and we hope to see it have an even bigger impact this year.”

Sign up to the Pledge and get the Sun Safety Toolkit

Click Here