Heat on Victorian employers to keep their employees safe from the sun

Tuesday 22 October, 2013

This Work Safe Week, SunSmart is calling on Victorian employers to take action towards preventing skin cancer in the workplace.

SunSmart Manager, Sue Heward, at Cancer Council Victoria said: "It is estimated that around 200 melanomas and 34,000 non melanoma skin cancers per year are caused by occupational exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) in Australia. Victorian health and safety legislation requires employers, so far as practical, to provide and maintain a working environment that ensures the health and safety of all workers. As part of this, employers should consider the risks associated with overexposure to UV for their employees."

"There are practical steps workplaces can take to protect employees from the harmful effects of the sun. For example, rescheduling work to minimise outdoor work in peak UV periods, doing outdoor jobs undercover, sharing outdoor tasks, providing UV protective clothing, sunglasses, hats and sunscreen, making shade available, and having a UV policy."

To help employers fulfill their responsibilities, Cancer Council Victoria offers face-to-face SunSmart workplace education sessions that can be delivered at any workplace in Victoria.

"The interactive sessions cover a range of topics including understanding skin cancer and UV, health and safety, how to create a SunSmart workplace, prevention and early detection of skin cancer, and vitamin D. They are a great opportunity for employers to provide employees with training so they can understand the importance of sun protection in the workplace."

This year, the La Trobe City Council hosted a SunSmart Workplace Education Program session for Council staff.

La Trobe's Occupational Health & Safety Advisor Jean Papillon, said: "We would recommend businesses with outdoor workers consider the program as a way of educating workers about UV protection in the workplace. If you have employees who spend any time outdoors during working hours, it is your responsibility to take proper steps to reduce their risk of skin cancer. These sessions are an excellent way of doing this."

To book a SunSmart education session, visit sunsmart.com.au or contact Emma White on (03) 9635 5148 or sunsmart@cancervic.org.au.

For more information, visit sunsmart.com.au.

Updated: 22 Oct, 2013