National Skin Cancer Action Week 2023

National Skin Cancer Action Week - Maxiblock Sunscreen - Pryme Australia

Combatting Australia’s ‘National Cancer’: The Importance of Sun Protection in the Workplace

Australia, often referred to as the “skin cancer capital of the world,” faces a daunting reality with skin cancer rates soaring higher than anywhere else. With approximately two in three Australians diagnosed with skin cancer during their lifetime, it has earned the title of our ‘national cancer.’ As we approach National Skin Cancer Action Week 2023 (20-26 November), the focus turns to raising awareness about the dangers of sun exposure and the critical need for sun protection, not only in everyday life but especially in the workplace.

The SunSmart Global UV app offers accurate, instant, and forecasted UV levels for various locations in Australia and worldwide. It pulls data from credible sources and reputable agencies, translating this information into clear, evidence-based health recommendations provided by Cancer Council Victoria. These recommendations guide users on appropriate sun protection measures tailored to a specific location.

The Alarming Statistics

This year, an estimated 2000 Australians will succumb to skin cancer, and the grim reality is that almost twice as many men as women will die from melanoma alone. Research indicates that a significant portion of the Australian population, particularly men, neglect to consistently utilise all five forms of sun protection. This negligence poses a severe threat to the workforce, as prolonged exposure to UV radiation is a leading cause of skin cancer, responsible for 95% of melanomas.

The Five Forms of Sun Protection

The Cancer Council Australia, in collaboration with the Australasian College of Dermatologists, stresses the importance of adopting all five forms of sun protection when the UV level is 3 or higher. These measures are:

  1. Slip on sun-protective clothing: Wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
  2. Slop on broad-spectrum sunscreen: Use water-resistant SPF30 (or higher) sunscreen. Apply 20 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours.
  3. Slap on a hat: Choose a broad-brimmed or legionnaire-style hat to protect your face, head, neck, and ears.
  4. Seek shade: Find shelter from direct sunlight whenever possible.
  5. Slide on sunglasses: Ensure they meet Australian Standards for adequate eye protection.

National Campaign and Workplace Protection

In a significant move to address this health crisis, the Australian Government, in partnership with Cancer Council Australia, has announced a two-year multi-million dollar skin cancer prevention campaign. This campaign, launching on November 30, aims to target all Australians, with a specific focus on men aged 40-59, identified as a demographic practising lower levels of sun-safe behaviours.

Changing Worksite Culture

To combat the risks associated with sun exposure in the workplace, it is crucial to cultivate a culture that prioritizes sun protection. Employers should encourage the use of sunscreens, and in this context, the Maxiblock range of Australian-made sunscreens can play a pivotal role. These sunscreens are designed to provide comprehensive protection, making them ideal for safeguarding entire worksites.

As we approach Melanoma Awareness Week, it is essential to recognise the gravity of the situation and take proactive steps to protect ourselves and our colleagues from the harmful effects of the sun. By fostering a SunSmart culture in the workplace and promoting the use of effective sun protection products like the Maxiblock range, we can contribute to reducing the incidence of skin cancer and ensuring a healthier future for all Australians.

RELATED: Melanoma Awareness



Fill in the form below or give us a call and we'll contact you. We endeavour to answer all enquiries within 24 hours on business days.

    Sign up to our newsletter: