What encourages sun protection among outdoor workers from four industries?

Monika Janda*, Melissa Stoneham, Philippa Youl, Phil Crane, Marguerite C. Sendall, Thomas Tenkate, Michael Kimlin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)



We aimed to identify current practice of sun protection and factors associated with effective use in four outdoor worker industries in Queensland, Australia. 


Workplaces in four industries with a high proportion of outdoor workers (building/construction, rural/farming, local government, and public sector industries) were identified using an online telephone directory, screened for eligibility, and invited to participant via mail (n=15, recruitment rate 37%). A convenience sample of workers were recruited within each workplace (n=162). Workplaces' sun protective policies and procedures were identified using interviews and policy analysis with workplace representatives, and discussion groups and computer-assisted telephone interviews with workers. Personal characteristics and sun protection knowledge, attitudes and behaviors were collated and analysed. 


Just over half the workplaces had an existing policy which referred to sun protection (58%), and most provided at least some personal protective equipment (PPE), but few scheduled work outside peak sun hours (43%) or provided skin checks (21%). Several worker and workplace characteristics were associated with greater sun protection behaviour among workers, including having received education on the use of PPE (p<0.001), being concerned about being in the sun (p=0.002); and working in a 2014smaller workplace (p=0.035). 


Uptake of sun protection by outdoor workers is affected by a complex interplay of both workplace and personal factors, and there is a need for effective strategies targeting both the workplace environment and workers' knowledge, attitudes and behaviors to decrease harmful sun exposure further.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-72
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Occupational Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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