Australian local tradie has created a product that seeks to reduce the number of tradie deaths caused by UV radiation

For the past eight years, Sean Conneely, 26, has worked as an electrician in the electrical and HVAC industries. It took a health checkup for him to re-evaluate his work environment choices, which eventually served as the pivotal point for the start of his business.

"In the health checkup, the doctors found a dark spot on my back. They chopped off a large chunk, which thankfully healed perfectly. After that, I made it a ritual to skip the pub and get booked in for a skin check once a year," he recalled.

Sean is not alone in this. Tens of thousands of Australian tradies are exposed to an invisible risk every day, but they are doing very little to guard themselves against it. Who's to blame? The sun's ultraviolet radiation.

The Invisible killer

A survey of 600 tradies found that 89 percent of them mostly worked outside on a typical workday in professions such as builders, electricians, carpenters, plumbers, landscapers, roofers, project managers, surveyors, and architects.

The survey, commissioned by Cancer Council Australia and the Australian Government, showed that more than half of the tradies polled worked outside for more than four hours every day, leaving them more vulnerable to skin cancer than those who work indoors.

"It's frightening that one-third of tradies have been treated for skin cancer or a suspicious mark, and more than half of us know someone who has been diagnosed with skin cancer," Sean lamented.

Skin cancer kills approximately 2000 Australians each year, and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare predicted that 16,878 Australians would be diagnosed with melanoma in 2021, making it the third most commonly diagnosed malignancy.

It was estimated that it was the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, trailing only prostate cancer.

Don't skip the sunscreen

Dr. Tanya Buchanan, chief executive of Cancer Council Australia, stated that tradies are at a higher risk than those who work indoors: "Tradies are renowned to have high standards when it comes to on-site safety, but this research reveals that many aren't properly addressing sun safety as part of their daily routines."

"A few minutes each day spent reapplying sunscreen or putting on sunglasses can go a long way towards keeping you safe today and in the future," the doctor added.

Meet The Trade Shade Magnetic Umbrella Holder

Sean Conneely is not just any regular tradie. He is also the founder of The Trade Shade and the inventor of the company's 'game-changing' product, The Trade Shade Magnetic Umbrella Holder.

"This is a quick to set-up, cost-effective, and portable shading and element protection solution, with the simple purpose of making tradies' lives safer and, hopefully, more comfortable at work," Conneely explained.

By mid-September, The Trade Shade plans to release a specially designed square UV umbrella that is predicted to be a fan favorite for Australian tradies. In addition, the company has teamed with National Skin Cancer Centres Australia to encourage more tradies to willingly undergo a skin check.

The Magnetic Umbrella Holder costs $59.95 and is available through their website or major hardware stores in Australia.

Sean Conneely
The Trade Shade

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