Integrated highways service and solutions provider A-one+ employs more than 1,000 people carrying out maintenance, incident response and engineering projects on behalf of Highways England. With so many of its employees working outdoors, it launched a summer health campaign in 2015. Emma Hughes, network intelligence technician and lead health advocate at A-one+, says: “We wanted to raise awareness of skin cancer and help our employees stay safe in the sun. We often think that because we’re in the UK the risks are low but even on a cloudy day, the UV rays can still cause damage.”
To raise awareness it provided all its employees with water bottles to help them stay hydrated, and beads that change colour when they detect an increase in damaging UV light. It also ran skin cancer awareness sessions, helping employees to understand the early signs and giving them information on sun protection lotion and how to cover up.
On top of this, it also drew employees’ attention to the sun-protection lotion dispensers in all of its depots and welfare vans so they could guard against sun damage. “We had a great response,” says Hughes. “Everyone’s got really involved with the campaign and it’s led to some significant changes in behaviour. Given that more than 80% of our employees are male, it’s brilliant that they put sun cream on and let me know when the dispensers need changing.”
As well as helping to protect against future sun damage, the campaign has also resulted in some employees seeking further medical attention. “In my area, a handful of people have been to see their GPs about their moles and we’ve also had a couple of employees who were diagnosed with skin cancer,” adds Hughes. “It’s definitely a campaign we intend to run every year.”