Outdoor workers reminded of skin cancer risk

Greater risk for outdoor workers in developing skin cancer.

Wearing a hat and long-sleeved shirt while working outdoors can help prevent sun exposure.

With the hot summer months comes the peak in the number of outdoor workers who are vulnerable to skin cancer.

WorkSafeBC and Sun Safety at Work Canada have partnered together to spread awareness, calling attention to the dangers of sun exposure.

“Employers have an obligation to protect workers against the elements. Those elements might be cold stress in the winter months, it might be heat stress and hot environments in summer months and in certain occupations throughout the year but it also relates to sun and UV light,” said Vice-President of Prevention Services at WorkSafeBC Al Johnson.

He said they wanted to put out this reminder to people now — for the most part targeting those working outside when the UV index is higher.

WorkSafeBC stated that between 2011 and 2015 they accepted six claims of malignant skin cancer caused by work related sun exposure.

“Now six may not seem like a significantly high number but we’re in the business of prevention, so one serious injury or one death is one too many…” said Johnson.

He said they tied the reminder to some of the research that’s been done by CAREX (CARcinogen EXposure). CAREX is a multi-institution research project combining expertise and resources to generate an evidence-based carcinogen surveillance program for the country. They found that around 1.5 million Canadians are exposed to sun on the job. Last year, 85,000 Canadians were diagnosed with skin cancer with the rate increasing.

“It really starts with the employer…” said Johnson when it comes to precautions.

He said the employer really needs to identify and recognize if their workers are at risk — if they’re working outside and if they fall into that area where they could be over exposed to an excessive amount of sun.

Once the employer identifies that, he said, they can then put together a program to ensure that their workers aren’t over exposed.

This can relate to providing awareness to their employees, providing sunscreen and areas where employees can take a break under shade, versus being in the sun. They can also provide or encourage workers to wear protective clothing such as loose fitting items, hats and sunglasses.

“The employer has an obligation under the regulation (B.C’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulation) to do all of that, but it’s also the worker (that) has an obligation and a responsibility to then use the equipment or the sunscreen and the hats that are provided so to speak.

“So it’s very much a shared obligation between the employer and the worker.”

Just Posted

Health Canada suspends Island pot producer’s licence following unannounced visit

Evergreen Medicinal Supply is working on “corrective action”

Victoria student out $600 for lack of e-bike insurance blames confusing rules

B.C. regulation says e-bike motors must turn off if rider stops pedalling, or bike must be insured

Flat tire, kindness of strangers, surprisingly inflate hope

Sooke mom and her daughters knocked on door of Bob and Norma Saunders seeking help

Oak Bay grants 60 days of protection for century-old mansion

J.W. Morris House slated for removal by Abstract Developments

Saanich police ask for public’s help locating missing high risk youth

The 12-year-old was last seen before school on Monday morning

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Most Read