Sun­screen cam­paign for tradies

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - Cathy O’Leary

■ WA’s peak can­cer group is launch­ing a sun pro­tec­tion cam­paign aimed at trades­peo­ple on the back of re­search show­ing only half are heed­ing slip, slop, slap ad­vice.

Can­cer Coun­cil re­search shows many Aus­tralian work­places are still ne­glect­ing their duty of care by fail­ing to pro­tect their em­ploy­ees from harm­ful ul­tra-vi­o­let ra­di­a­tion.

Data from its lat­est na­tional sun pro­tec­tion sur­vey shows half of out­door work­ers are miss­ing out on sun pro­tec­tion.

Only half are given sun­screen, fewer than one in three have portable shade and only two in five are pro­vided with hats.

The coun­cil’s na­tional skin can­cer com­mit­tee chair­woman Vanessa Rock said the num­ber of work­ers spend­ing long pe­ri­ods out­doors un­pro­tected was alarm­ing.

“Over 2.5 mil­lion Aus­tralians spend half or more of their work­ing time out­doors, yet only half say their work­place has a sun pro­tec­tion pol­icy in place, ” she said.

“There has been a min­i­mal in­crease in the 10 years since our first sur­vey.” Ms Rock es­ti­mated that 34,000 non-melanoma skin can­cers and 200 melanomas were linked to the work­place each year.

Can­cer Coun­cil WA’s new cam­paign uses tradie char­ac­ter “Sonny Burns” to tar­get self-em­ployed work­ers and very small busi­nesses about the need to cover up at work.

It in­cludes a web­site and so­cial me­dia posts about UV ra­di­a­tion lev­els. Sun­Smart man­ager Mark Strick­land said the work­ers did not have the ben­e­fit of for­mal oc­cu­pa­tional health pro­grams.

“Self-em­ployed tradies told us that they know the dan­gers of too much sun but that the pres­sure of work of­ten meant that hats, shirts and sun­screen were left be­hind, ” he said.

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