Study Reveals The Importance of Sunscreen in Fighting Melanoma


In a study conducted by the University of Sydney, it was revealed that Australians between 18 and 40 years old who used sunscreen regularly during their childhood had a reduced risk of developing melanoma by 40 per cent as compared with non-users.

The study shows that childhood and adulthood use of sun protection is crucial in the fight against melanoma and other skin diseases.

As construction workers we are likely to spend much of our day outdoors, in the harsh sun. It’s important that we always use sunscreen, even in Winter.

Sadly the macho culture of the industry has led to many people shunning the use of sunscreen. The study found in general females were more likely to use sunscreen or people who suffered sunburn. Even if we don’t immediately notice the effects of the sun, like sunburn, it’s important that we are protecting ourselves in the short and long term by using sunscreen daily and re-applying regularly.


Video Highlights Skin Cancer Prevention Message for Outdoor Workers

Outdoor workers are more likely to experience not just skin cancer but heat stress which is why sun safety is such an important issue for construction workers, who spend the majority of their time outdoors.

Here’s a helpful video that highlights the most important points, although the video is aimed at Canadian workers, there are many similarities to the Australian workforce and safety strategies that can be applied here as well.

The Fortnightly OH&S News Wrap-Up: Are You Prepared to Work in the Summer Heat?

Construction workers engage in extremely strenuous work, most often outdoors which can be a problem, especially during the summer months. As an outdoor worker, you’re at risk of developing skin cancer and Australia in particular has recorded the highest number of skin cancer sufferers in the world. It is therefore extremely important to safeguard yourself if you’re working outdoors in the sun.

Read the full article here: Adjusting to Work in Extreme Heat

To help you stay up to date with what is happening in the industry, we’ve compiled some of the latest OHS news, which you may have missed.

ACT Worksites See Decline in Safety

Dangers of Solitary Work

Safe Lifting with Soft Slings

Construction Safety Update: Welding

The Risk of Developing Skin Cancer from Outdoor Work

(Photo: dream designs /

One of the major hazards associated with work outdoors is the possibility of developing skin cancer. Through numerous studies and extensive research into the subject, it has been established that Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. This is due to our position on the globe and the harmful rays of the sun that we are exposed to.

Because of Australia’s proximity to the equator it experiences some of the highest levels of solar UV radiation in the world. Its geographical position in the southern hemisphere, where the earth’s oval shaped orbit brings us closer to the sun in summer than countries in the northern hemisphere on similar latitudes. So particularly for Australians sun care is a major concern especially for construction workers who spend the majority of their time outdoors.

Some of the measures workers should take if they are exposed to the sun for extended periods of time are to take the appropriate precautions to avoid long term damage to the skin. This includes wearing appropriate PPE such as a wide brimmed hat, long sleeved, loose flowing shirt, sunglasses and sunscreen. Your sunscreen should have an SPF of 30 or higher. Also wear long sleeves to protect the arms and sunglasses to protect the eyes and sensitive area around them. Administrative measures can also help such as rotating work schedules so that workers time in the sun is shared or taking breaks during hours when the sun is at its most intense.