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. 

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:


Slip into some shade and slip on sun protective clothing.


Whenever possible work and take breaks in the shade.  

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


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.


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

Workplace Examples:

An outdoor worker talks about sun safety

Go to the advocacy section of our website to see how the Cancer Society is helping  to contribute towards healthy, safe workplaces.

Other agencies UVR workplace advice:

Sun protection in the workplace
Safe work Australia
UV Radiation


Last Updated: Monday 20 April, 2015