Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Canada, and incidence rates for melanoma, the most fatal form of the disease, continue to increase. The sun is a workplace hazard that can cause skin cancer, heat stress and eye damage but the good news is that these conditions are preventable.
Resources to Help Build a Sun Safety Program in Your Municipality
Sun Safety at Work Canada recognizes that workplaces are at various stages when it comes to implementing a sun safety program for outdoor workers. Some workplaces are beginning to create greater awareness about the hazards of working in the sun, while others are ready to implement a sun safety program or enhance their current program. No matter the stage, Sun Safety has fact sheets, posters, presentations, and other educational tools that can be tailored to the training needs and capacity of your workplace. All resources can be downloaded from www.sunsafetyatwork.ca
- Sun safe workers fact sheet: Provide a graph which indicates NS has the highest melanoma rates in Canada.
- Heat stress outdoor fact sheet: Infograph on the primary factors contributing to heat stress.
- Solar UV outdoor fact sheet: Infograph on the effects sun exposure has on your skin.
- Provincial and National facts on current sun safety
Education pieces for municipalities to use to help spread the word about sun safety.
For outdoor workers, the health risk associated with heat stress and exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun depends on a range of environmental and operational factors at work, along with a range of personal risk factors. The following two sun safety risk assessments will help you to determine your personal level of risk and how best to protect yourself.
These videos provide information about the importance of sun safety and the harmful effects of the sun.
Sun Safe Nova Scotia(SSNS), is a coalition of agencies and individuals working together to reduce the number of skin cancer diagnoses and deaths through prevention and early detection. Together, the SSNS members are able to learn from each other, share work and achievements and have a greater impact on the sun safety practices of Nova Scotians. SSNS is committed to supporting workplaces as they create their own sun safety programs.
Sun Safety at Work Canada (SSAWC), is enhancing sun safety for Canadian workplaces. The purpose of SSAWC is to raise awareness of the importance of sun safety and to help workplaces implement sun safety programs within their occupational health and safety management systems.
If your employees work outdoors, a sun safety program is a key component of your workplace’s occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) or occupational health and safety program (OHSP). A sun safety program is focused on the prevention and management of health risks related to occupational sun exposure.
- Build your own sun safety program: A six step process that will help you build your own sun safety program. Each step includes program elements and considerations for sun safety.
- Policy fact sheet: A sun safety policy is an OHS policy statement about your workplace’s commitment to being sun safe. This policy forms the critical first step to developing a sun safety program. This document provides policy considerations and a tool kit for policy development.
- Policy checklist: A checklist to help workplaces review their current sun safety/solar UV/heat stress policy.
Sample policies (sun safety/solar uv/heat) that municipalities can adapt
- Sun safety policy example small workplaces.
- Solar ultraviolet radiation safety policy example small workplaces.
- Heat stress safety policy example small workplaces.
Roles and Responsibilities
Sun Safety at Work Canada recognizes that roles and responsibilities are the heart of an internal responsibility system that is effective in mitigating health and safety hazards, including heat stress. If a workplace is developing a sun safety program (where solar UV safety and heat stress safety are addressed together), the following list of roles and responsibilities will help to ensure the effectiveness of your particular program.
- Legal issues Nova Scotia fact sheet: This fact sheet provides an overview of legal issues in sun safety for workplaces in Nova Scotia. This covers jurisdiction-specific occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation for both solar UV radiation and heat stress.
- Off the job sun safety fact sheet: Adding recreational sun exposure to an outdoor worker’s total sun exposure is one factor that complicates workers compensation claims for skin cancer. Recreational sun exposure is one of the reasons why there is low number of successful skin cancer claims compared with the number of skin cancers we know are associated with outdoor work.
- Nova Scotia heat stress guidelines: Legal Requirements from Nova Scotia Labour and Advanced Education indicate that employers have a duty under clause 13(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act to take every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of persons at or near the workplace.