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Why Focus on Sun Safety in the Workplace?

Sun Safety workplace guide

Adults spend about 50-60% of their waking hours at work. This makes the workplace an ideal setting to provide information that addresses sun safety.

While employers may have programs in place to address sun safety, research shows that using a comprehensive approach to promote health results in positive behaviour change. Employees who have good health are more likely to, have fewer injuries and illnesses, be at work and perform well, remain with an employer and have reduced stress.

Develop a Plan

When making your plan, choose activities that cover all four Health Promotion Strategies. This will help your message to be more effective.

Below are Health Promotion activities you can include in your Workplace Health Plan using each of the four pillars.

Health Promotion Activities

Awareness Raising

Education and Skill Building

Environmental Support

Healthy Policies

Use bulletin boards for sun safety messages

Work with your assigned public health nurse to plan activities

Move jobs indoors or to a shaded area

Speak to your workplace public health nurse about a sample policy template

Promote sun safety using messages on the intranet

Provide a presentation/lunch & learn about  sun safety

Schedule any indoor work for around midday

Develop a sun safety policy/guideline

Promote sun safety messages in workplace newsletters

Promote or offer education & skill building opportunities from other community agencies

Rotate workers so they are not all exposed to the sun at peak hours

Promote your workplace sun safety policy/guideline to employees

Promote sun safety contest/draw/quiz

Promote support or advice lines (Durham Health Connection Line)

Provide sun shelter to outdoor workers who are stationary

Make your workplace sun safety policy accessible to employees

Learn more about the comprehensive workplace wellness approach

To contact the public health nurse assigned to your workplace call Durham Health Connection Line at 905666-6241 or toll free at 1-800-841-2729


When you work outdoors, you have a higher risk of exposure to UV radiation.
Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the main cause of skin cancer .To limits your risk of overexposure to UV radiation follow the tips below:

a construction worker wearing sunglasses
  • Seek shade whenever possible during breaks or lunches.  If there is no shade, create your own.  Limit the amount of time spent outdoors in the sun from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. when able.
  • Limit the amount of time spent outdoors in the sun from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m when able.
  • Cover-up:  wear clothing that protects the skin from the sun such as; a long-sleeved shirt and pants, a wide brimmed hat or any hat that protects your face, ears, and neck, or attach a neck flap to the back of hard hats.
  • Wear sunglasses, safety glasses, or a visor with 100% UV radiation protection. Wearing sunglasses can prevent direct eye damage from the sunlight. Long-term exposure to UV radiation can result in cataracts and skin cancer around the eyes .
  • Ensure you are applying a liberal amount of broad spectrum sunscreen (and lip balm with an SPF of 30 or higher 20 minutes prior to going outside. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating.
  • Check the daily UV Index.
  • Follow your workplace ‘Sun Safety Policy’.
  • Learn more about the health effects of overexposure to UV radiation.

Sun Safety Workplace Resources

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