Information and advice on sun protection in the workplace.

UV radiation is a workplace hazard to employees who spend much or all of their working day outdoors.

Outdoor workers are exposed to the sun for extended periods of time throughout their working life which results in them receiving significantly more UV radiation than people who work indoors. As a result, outdoor workers have a higher risk of developing skin cancer than indoor workers. 

 

Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA)

  • take reasonable care of your own health and safety and ensure that your actions don’t cause harm to yourself or others
  • comply with any reasonable instructions, policies or procedures on how to work in a safe and healthy way.

You should let someone at your workplace (such as a supervisor, or a Health and Safety Representative) know if you have a health and safety concern, or want to suggest an improvement, even though this is not a legal requirement.

(https://worksafe.govt.nz/managing-health-and-safety/workers/your-rights-and-obligations/)

 

SunSmart Workplaces

Employers have a duty of care to protect their workers. With changes to the Health and Safety legislation there is an increasing emphasis on minimising risk in the workplace.

There are many ways that UV exposure in the workplace can be minimised. Cooperation between employers and employees is the best way to achieve this.

A sample policy and information for workers can both be found on the right of this page.

 

What employers can do:

-        Have a SunSmart policy that they enforce

-        Reduce the amount of time their workers spend outdoors

-        Provide and maintain sun safety equipment

-        Provide information and training around sun protection practices

-        Encourage staff to check their own skin and go to the GP if they have any concerns

  What employees can do:

Tree 

Slip into some shade and slip on sun protective clothing.

Shirt

Whenever possible work and take breaks in the shade.  

Wear long pants and a long-sleeved, collared shirt.

 Sunscreen

Slop sunscreen on all uncovered skin.
Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF30.  Apply at least 20 minutes before going outside.  Reapply at least every two hours, more often if you are sweating or are in the water.

Sun hat

Slap on a hat.  Wear a hat with a broad brim or a bucket style hat that protects your head, face (including eyes and ears) and neck.  When you wear a hard hat or helmet, use a sun brim and neck flap.

Sunglasses 

Wrap on some sunglasses.  Wear close fitting, wrap-around styles.

 

 Useful Resources

SunSmart WorkersSunSmart Workers

UV Today FlyerUV Today Flyer

  Outdoor Workers statistics 2013

   Outdoor Workers Poster