Swarfega warns mobile mechanics of the dangers of being exposed to harmful UV radiation without adequate protection.
With consumers seeking convenience like never before, led by their experience with the likes of Amazon and Deliveroo, this type of service expectation is now feeding across to other areas of consumer life, including car maintenance. According to Whocanfixmycar.com, the number of repair jobs completed by mobile mechanics in the UK rose from 1% in 2011 to nearly 8% in 2015, with this percentage expected to grow over the coming years.
Moving from the workshop to a mobile maintenance service means that mechanics are working outside in all conditions. As a result, mobile mechanics can be exposed to significantly more UV radiation from the sun than when working in the workshop. In a recent survey, Swarfega found that, whilst people working outside were aware of the dangers of UV radiation, only 15% of the respondents used protection against the harmful rays emitted by the sun.
How UV radiation damages the skin
UV radiation causes damage to the DNA of skin cells. In the long term, damage to the DNA builds up due to repeated over exposure and can cause the cells to start growing out of control, which can lead to skin cancer.
When is protection required?
It can come as a surprise to many people that UV rays can still damage the skin even on cloudy and cold days. The Met Office monitors and publishes the UV levels in the UK, and when it reaches level 3 or above, people working outside should take protective measures. In the UK, UV level 3 and above occurs frequently between March and October.
What steps can be taken?
Swarfega, an expert in ‘at-work’ skin protection recommends that mobile mechanics adopt the 5-S approach:
■ Slip on sun protection clothing – covering up with appropriate clothing can be the most effective barrier between the sun and the skin.
■ Slop on a minimum of SPF30 sun cream – make sure it’s broad spectrum. This means that it will protect users from the wide range of UV rays. Re-apply every two hours or more frequently if you’re sweating heavily. Choose sun cream that is water-resistant, such as the TOUGH by Swarfega sun cream that has been designed for people at work.
■ Slap on a hat and neck protection – just like the right clothing, a hat and neck protection provide a great barrier to prevent exposure to the sun’s dangerous rays.
■ Slide on some sunglasses. Look out for sunglasses that filter out the UV rays to make sure your eyes are getting the right protection.
■ Shade from the sun when possible, particularly between the hours of 11am and 3pm.
When using sun cream, there are a couple of common mistakes to avoid. First, not applying enough cream. SKCIN (a charity dedicated to raising awareness of skin cancer) recommends a teaspoon of cream is applied to each arm or leg. The second mistake to avoid is not applying sun cream often enough, with SKCIN recommending re-application every two to three hours as a minimum.