Skin cancer and outdoor workers

Working outdoors for all or part of the day can put you at high risk of developing skin cancer. It has been estimated that outdoor workers receive five to 10 times more ultraviolet (UV) exposure per year than indoor workers and that around 200 melanomas and 34,000 non-melanoma skin cancers per year are caused by occupational exposures in Australia. And working outdoors doesn’t just increase your risk of melanoma and other skin cancers. Long periods of working in the sun can cause serious damage to your eyes such as cataracts.

If you work outdoors sun protection isn’t just a choice – it’s an important part of the job.

  • The new Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act 2011 requires employers in NSW to provide a safe working environment for all employees, including protection from UV radiation.
  • WHS legislation also states that, as an employee, you must co-operate with your workplace’s sun protection program.
  • If you are self-employed, it is in your best interest to look after your health and use sun protection at work. Protect yourself in 5 ways.