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Skin cancer is the most common cancer affecting New Zealanders.  

Skin cancers are usually caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, in particular sunburn. Outdoor workers have a high risk of skin cancer because they are regularly exposed to UV radiation for long periods of time.

Why promote sun safety in the workplace?

  • Many workplaces have employees who work outdoors.  These workers are at a high risk of developing skin cancer because they are exposed to high UV radiation for long periods.
  • Employees who are outside during breaks/lunchtime (e.g. walking, running or sitting outside) also need to ensure they are protected, as UV radiation levels are at their highest between 10am and 4pm.

Key sun safety messages

  • Slip on a long-sleeved shirt and trousers or slip into the shade.
  • Slop on plenty of broad spectrum SPF30+ sunscreen 15 minutes before going outside and make sure to reapply every two hours.
  • Slap on a wide-brimmed hat or cap/hard hat with flaps.
  • Wrap on some sunnies – choose sunglasses that cover the whole eye area.
  • Between September and April protect yourself from UVR, especially between 10am and 4pm.

For more information about how your workplace can become sun safe, visit the WorkWell website where you can access free resources, tools and assistance.

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