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Canadian Dermatology Association
Stay Sun Safe on the Job

Helping Outdoor Workers Stay Sun Safe on the Job

Ottawa, June 08, 2017 - Outdoor workers are exposed to various types of hazards, such as falls and equipment-related injuries, however skin cancer isn't usually something that often comes to mind. The Canadian Dermatology Association CDA is working with the Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) to make more people aware that skin cancer is a real concern for Canadians on the job.

According to the OCRC, approximately 1.5 million Canadians are exposed to sun at work. The largest industrial groups exposed to sun in Canada are construction, farming, building care and maintenance. Outdoor workers have a 2.5 to 3.5 times greater risk of skin cancer than indoor workers – and as many as 7,000 skin cancers were attributed to occupational exposure to the sun in 2014.

According to a study in the CDA's Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, outdoor workers engage in less sun protection than the general population, despite the fact that 40% of outdoor workers spend at least 4 hours outdoors each day.

It is concerning that outdoor workers don't seem to worry too much about UV protection. That's why the CDA has partnered with the OCRC to increase awareness and promote sun safe practices among outdoor workers.

"Sun safety on the job is imperative for these workers who have increased risk of skin cancer yet reduced protective measures, and we want to ensure that they are armed with the information they need to be safer on the job," says Dr. Jennifer Beecker, National Chair, Sun Awareness Working Group.

In 2016, the CDA joined the OCRC on the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer as a Coalition Linking Action and Science for Prevention (CLASP) with the joint goal of developing an effective and sustainable national sun safety program for workers in Canada. The Sun Safety at Work Canada (SSAWC) website called www.sunsafetyatwork.ca was launched to support workplaces in helping protect their employees from the dangers of exposure to sunlight.

The website supports the development of a sun safety program as part of an occupational health and safety management system. More than 70 free resources on sun safety are available to download from the website. A range of resources are also available in French, with Spanish and Punjabi resources to come.

Sun Awareness Week

The Canadian Dermatology Association has organized the nation-wide early summer Sun Awareness Week since 1989. The aim is to educate Canadians about the dangers of too much sun and to help stop the rising incidence of skin cancer in Canada. This year's Sun Awareness Week is Monday, June 5 to Sunday, June 11, and involves a number of events and activities across Canada.

About the CDA

The Canadian Dermatology Association, founded in 1925, represents Canadian dermatologists. The association provides easy access to the largest, most reliable source of medical knowledge on dermatology. CDA exists to advance the science and art of medicine and surgery related to the care of the skin, hair and nails; provide continuing professional development for its members; support and advance patient care; provide public education on sun protection and other aspects of skin health; and promote a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. By doing so, CDA informs and empowers both medical professionals and the Canadian public. To learn more about what the work CDA does visit http://www.dermatology.ca or join the conversation on http://www.Twitter.com/CdnDermatology or www.Facebook.com/CdnDermatology.

Last Updated: Thursday, 08 June 2017 09:26:30 AM EST

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