Sun Safety

Overview

Most skin cancers are caused by exposure to ultra violet radiation (UVR) in sunlight. Sun exposure, Sun Safetyparticularly severe sunburns during childhood and adolescence, gives rise to a greater risk of skin cancer later in life. There are two main types of skin cancer – melanoma and non-melanoma. Melanoma is the most serious kind of skin cancer. Non-melanoma skin cancers are far more common than melanoma, however they tend to be less serious (as long as they are treated in time).

To find out why Sun Safety is important in your workplace view click here.

Incorporating Sun Safety into your Action and Evaluation Plan

Your efforts to promote and support sun safety in the workplace must consider a multi-level approach to ensure it is effective and sustainable.  A multi-level approach involves considering what is available at each of the following levels:

  • Organisational (e.g. policies and procedures)
  • Environmental (e.g. infrastructure and facilities)
  • Individual (e.g. opportunities, information and training)

See the following sections for examples of how to address sun safety at each of these levels.

Organisational Change

Organisational change ensures the workplace’s policies, practices and culture support employees to be sun smart.  Examples of what you can do in your workplace include:

Develop a sun safety policy or include sun safety in a staff health and wellbeing policy. Consider including:                                                                                    

  • Provision of protective facilities (e.g. sunscreen, broad-brimmed hats, sunglasses, long sleeved shirts, drinking water and sun shade)
  • Ensure uniforms consider sun protection
  • Allow time at work to put on sunscreen and sun safe clothing
  • Encourage staff to be sun smart and promote risks of sun exposure
  • Encourage staff to avoid exposure at times when the sun’s rays are harshest

Encourage managers to lead by example by role modelling proactive sun safe behaviour

Offer a subsidy for or funding annual skin checks

Environmental Change

Creating a healthy working environment can encourage sun safety. Examples of what you can do in your workplace include:

Provide protective equipment and facilities to staff (e.g. SPF30+ sunscreen, broad-brimmed hats and sunglasses, shade in outdoor areas and water bottles)

If uniforms are provided, ensure that it provides adequate sun protection

Tint vehicle and office windows, or install blinds

Display sun safety messages throughout the workplace

Individual Change

Individual change focuses on opportunities for knowledge and skill development to support sun safety.  Examples of what you can do in your workplace include:

Provide information sessions or resources with information on sun safety, such as:

Encourage staff to use protective equipment (e.g. sunscreen, protective clothing, hats and eye protection)

Encourage employees to know their skin, and to visit their GP if they notice a changing or a new spot, freckle or mole

Promote and participate in regional and/or national campaigns that promote sun safety

Sign up to a sun protection alert and promote to staff: Sunsmart

Community Links and Partnerships

To access a variety of useful services and resources relating to Sun Safety see our Community Links page.

Page updated 31 Aug 2018