Protecting workers from UV radiation

The guidance note provides a practical guide on how to assess and minimise exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation at work. This is a revised version of the 1991 guide, developed by the National Occupational Safety and Health Commission.

ASCC chairman Bill Scales said that he was pleased to release the guide in conjunction with Cancer Council Australia and encouraged all employers and employees in all industries to take advantage of this practical resource.

?Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. It is every Australian?s right to be safe at work and this includes working outdoors when UV radiation levels are high,? Mr Scales said.

?I urge all workplaces and industries which have outdoor workers to utilise this newly updated guide and to take steps to protect workers from UV radiation in sunlight.

?Adopting safer work practices when working outdoors not only has a positive impact on employees but can also lead to significantly reduced organisational costs and economic costs. Everybody should be ?SunSmart? when at work.?

National Skin Cancer Committee Chairman Mr Craig Sinclair said at least two in every three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70.

?While the current figures for skin cancer are extremely concerning, the use of this guide can help Australians minimise the risk of UV exposure when at work,? Mr Sinclair said.

?In the summer season, there is no better time than now to be reminded of the importance of using sun protection while working outdoors.

?There is more to sun protection than sunscreen. Exposure to UV radiation can occur on cloudy days. It is important that organisations and individuals be aware of the risks associated with working in the sunlight and take measures to ensure they are safe.

?These measures include seeking shade, slipping on sun protective work clothing, slapping on a hat, sliding on sunglasses and slopping on SPF 30+ sunscreen.?

The principles outlined in the guide can also be applied to non-occupational exposures.

The Guidance Note for the Protection of Workers from the UltravioletRadiation in Sunlight is available for free download from the ASCC website:

Source: Australian Safety and Compensation Council, Cancer Council Australia

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