Outdoor Worker Sun Protection Project : a mixed methods intervention to improve sun safety among outdoor workers

Sendall, Marguerite C., Crane, Philip R., Stoneham, Melissa Joan, Janda, Monika, & Kimlin, Michael G. (2013) Outdoor Worker Sun Protection Project : a mixed methods intervention to improve sun safety among outdoor workers. In International Union of Health Promotion and Education, 25 - 29 August 2013, Pattaya, Thailand. (Unpublished)

Abstract

Queensland, Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Outdoor workers are regularly exposed to high doses of ultraviolet radiation, and are at increased risk to develop non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers. In 2010, a health promotion intervention to improve sun protection among outdoor workers in Queensland commenced. The intervention employed a mixed methods approach and a participatory action research framework.

Fourteen workplaces were recruited from building and construction, rural and farming, local government, and public sector organisations. Management and workers were engaged in cycles of assessment, reflection and discussion, planning, implementation and reassessing, over a 14-month intervention period. Overall, at least one workplace representative from each workplace (range 1-3) and in depth focus groups were held with a subset of workers (range 3-16) to assess sun safe behaviours pre and post intervention.

Workers’ attitudes, beliefs, knowledge and willingness to engage in sun protection differed depending on workplace characteristics and support. A familiar theme among workers spoke of sun safety as being “common sense” and the “workers individual responsibility”. Often there was a discrepancy in the perceptions of the workers, compared to the view of workplace representatives and the workplaces position or policy on sun safety. In larger workplaces, especially Government Departments, workers were more aware and followed sun safe practices compared to smaller workplaces where sun safety was not a high priority.

These results indicate that a workplace culture which places high values on safety and polices more broadly may also have a positive effect on sun safety among outdoor workers as well. In addition, the specific characteristics of the workplace and the outdoor work tasks influence workers willingness to engage in sun safety measures.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 62600
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: sun protection , skin cancer , outdoor workers , workplaces , health promotion , occupational health and safety
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (111705)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Promotion (111712)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 The Author
Deposited On: 18 Sep 2013 01:29
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2013 01:30

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