Businesses warm to OHS

Thursday, 28 September, 2006

The sudden onset of warmer weather and the conclusion of a campaign into skin cancer in the construction industry have seen WorkSafe Victoria emphasise the obligations businesses have to their outdoor workers.

The three-year campaign was a joint effort between WorkSafe Victoria and SunSmart. It has seen 266 workers receive free skin checks and 2491 UV-related visits to construction and utility sites throughout the state by WorkSafe inspectors.

"Of the workers who participated in the free skin checks, 24% were referred on for further medical attention," Minister for WorkCover, John Lenders said.

Health and safety laws in Victoria require employers to maintain a safe and healthy workplace for employees. Exposure to UV radiation is among the risks to health that must be controlled.

The campaign also made it clear that workers have a legal obligation to cooperate with employers in adopting practices to protect themselves from the sun.

To ensure the safety of outdoor workers, Lenders is encouraging employers to provide sun protection in the form of appropriate clothing and sunscreen. He said there should also be a firm rule onsite that workers must use the protection provided.

WorkSafe has pronounced the campaign a success, adding that employers are now more capable of fulfilling their OHS obligations.

Lenders said that WorkSafe inspectors have seen a noticeable difference in attitudes to UV protection since the beginning of the campaign.

28/09/06

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