What encourages sun protection among outdoor workers from four industries?

Janda, Monika, Stoneham, Melissa, Youl, Philippa, Crane, Phil, Sendall, Marguerite C., Tenkate, Thomas, & Kimlin, Michael G. (2013) What encourages sun protection among outdoor workers from four industries? Journal of Occupational Health.

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Objectives: We aimed to identify current practice of sun protection and factors associated with effective use in four outdoor worker industries in Queensland, Australia.

Methods: Workplaces in four industries with a high proportion of outdoor workers (building/construction, rural/farming, local government, and public sector industries) were identified using an online telephone directory, screened for eligibility, and invited to participant via mail (n=15, recruitment rate 37%). A convenience sample of workers were recruited within each workplace (n=162). Workplaces’ sun protective policies and procedures were identified using interviews and policy analysis with workplace representatives, and discussion groups and computer-assisted telephone interviews with workers. Personal characteristics and sun protection knowledge, attitudes and behaviors were collated and analysed.

Results: Just over half the workplaces had an existing policy which referred to sun protection (58%), and most provided at least some personal protective equipment (PPE), but few scheduled work outside peak sun hours (43%) or provided skin checks (21%). Several worker and workplace characteristics were associated with greater sun protection behaviour among workers, including having received education on the use of PPE (p<0.001), being concerned about being in the sun (p=0.002); and working in a smaller workplace (p=0.035).

Conclusions: Uptake of sun protection by outdoor workers is affected by a complex interplay of both workplace and personal factors, and there is a need for effective strategies targeting both the workplace environment and workers’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviors to decrease harmful sun exposure further.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 65360
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: skin neoplasms, melanoma, outdoor workers, occupational exposure, primary prevention, , ultra-violet radiation
DOI: 10.1539/joh.13-0179-OA
ISSN: 1348-9585
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)
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 2013Japan Society for Occupational Health
Deposited On: 12 Dec 2013 23:51
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2014 05:03

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