Heatwave hazards highlighted to contractors and farmers

Silage contractors and farmers have been reminded of the dangers that are posed by higher-than-normal sunshine levels, given the fine spell of weather expected to hit Ireland over the coming week.

With high pressure building, the next week is expected to bring above-normal sunshine amounts, according to Met Eireann.

Temperatures are expected to hover around 20º this weekend, but values are set to increase as next week progresses, the Irish meteorological office added.

The Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) has reminded silage contractors and farmers to take the necessary safety precautions and to follow the Irish Cancer Society’s ‘SunSmart Code‘.

The society states that the main cause of skin cancer is harmful ultra violet (UV) rays from the sun. Outdoor workers – including farmers, construction workers, gardeners and fisherman – have a higher-than-average risk of getting skin cancer.

It added that UV rays – which can be present on sunny days, as well as on cool and cloudy days – can be harmful from April to September, especially between 11:00am and 3:00pm.

The SunSmart Code advises people to:
  • Seek shade, particularly when UV rays are at their strongest – generally between 11:00am and 3:00pm;
  • Cover up by wearing a shirt with a collar and long shorts. Also wear a hat that gives shade to your face, neck and ears;
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses – make sure they give UV protection;
  • Apply sunscreen – use sunscreen with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 15 or higher and UVA protection.

The society also encourages people to check the UV index every day, in order to help them plan to protect their skin from UV damage.