HSS Hire and Cancer Research UK

HSS Hire and Cancer Research UK


Construction workers make up 55% of all skin cancer patients, making them the most ‘at risk’ group of workers and 8 times more likely to develop skin cancer than any other profession. Each year, around 60 tradesmen die from the disease in the UK.

The brief was to highlight the dangers of skin cancer to builders and encourage them to wear sunscreen. The main objectives were to educate the audience about the dangers of UV exposure, change their attitude and behaviour to wearing sunscreen, and overall reduce the risk of skin cancer for this highly exposed group.


A stark warning poster was designed to ‘blend in’ to its environment by mimicking traditional building site safety posters – a featureless, colourless face in a hard hat. Using light reactive photo chromic ink, the poster transforms when exposed to dangerous UV rays. Its vital safety message is uncovered, dramatically changing to reveal a shocking red graphic of a skull to grab attention. When out of direct sunlight or in cloudy conditions, the poster returns transparent, hiding the message until next time.


The posters have been seen by over 10,000 trade contractors, has set new standards in recall and become the health and safety standard on site whilst catching the attention of the construction industry press.