Insurance claims for skin cancer could overtake asbestos, according to legal experts.
Employers have been warned that staff who work outdoors could be at risk of skin cancer, especially in hot weather.
Alison Loveday, head of employment law at Berg, said employers should seek advice on sun protection and encourage outdoor workers to use a sunscreen.
“As with asbestos-related diseases, skin cancer can occur decades after exposure and, under the terms of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers will be liable for negligence regardless of the time lapsed,” she said.
Loveday said employers should include details about sun protection in their health and safety policy to strengthen any defence against future skin cancer claims.
It is estimated that claims for asbestos-related diseases could reach £20bn in the next 30 years.