The workplace is a major source of exposure for many Australian adults, with outdoor workers receiving up to ten times more ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure compared to indoor workers. UV radiation is present anytime there is daylight. Both high intensity and low intensity UV radiation exposure is linked to an increased risk of skin cancer. Each dose of UV received builds up, accumulating over the lifetime.
It is not surprising that outdoor workers who are required to spend long periods of time working in the sun, year after year, have a higher-than-average risk of skin cancer.
Data from the 2016-17 National Sun Protection Survey suggests that only 62 per cent of Australian workplaces have a sun protection policy in place. The survey also revealed only 59 per cent of adults who spent some time outdoors during their work reported that their workplace provides sunscreen, 62 per cent of adults reported that their workplace encourages sun protection when working outside.