How to keep your outdoor workers safe

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    02-Jun-2015

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How to keep your outdoor workers safe. The 6 Strategies Every OHS Professional Needs to Know. If you are an occupational health & safety professional in Australia or have any outdoor workers in your business (including drivers) then this Ebook is for you. You will discover: - The Costly Impact of Occupational UVR Exposure - What Role OHS Professionals Play - The 6 Must Know Safety Strategies - Actions Required to Help Avoid Liability For more information go to www.spotscreen.net.au

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<ul><li> 1. How to Keep Your Outdoor Workers Safe. The 6 Strategies Every OHS Professional Needs to Know. Produced by: Spotscreen Pty Ltd Suite 3, 39 King George St Innaloo WA 6018 Perth: (08) 9467 0914 Sydney: (02) 8004 3461 enquiries@spotscreen.net.au www.spotscreen.net.au ABN: 18 144 922 190 Spotscreen Pty Ltd 2013 Spotscreen Pty Ltd have been careful to provide accurate information throughout this book, but it is possible that errors and omissions may be present. Please consider this before making any plans or other important decisions regarding the health and safety of your employees. 2 </li></ul><p> 2. When developing policies and safety procedures for outdoor workers, there are many factors that occupational health and safety professional must take into consideration. Although not all factors will apply to their specific business, there is one factor that will almost always apply to every business with outdoor workers in Australia. This being exposure to cancer causing solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR). It is a remarkable fact that 2 in 3 Australians will develop skin cancer before the age of 70 (1). Unfortunately, Australia has among the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, costing the health system over $500 million each year (6). How does this affect your business? Outdoor workers receive between 5-10 times more exposure to ultraviolet radiation than those working indoors (3). With work safety legislation putting a greater focus on this topic in recent years, businesses can no longer afford to take minimal action in this area. This is unmistakably highlighted in workers compensation reports from 2000-2009 which show a substantial increase in claims awarded. Some of these shocking figures will be touched on shortly. Most importantly, it is the lives of their employees which occupational health &amp; safety professionals have been entrusted with. Ensuring employees are able to return home unharmed and taking constant steps towards improving their organisations safety culture is key to the success of any OHS department. The 6 OHS strategies discussed throughout the following pages provide important information into how to keep your outdoor workers safe and prevent life threatening injuries as a result of exposure to ultraviolet radiation in the workplace. 3 INTRODUCTION www.spotscreen.net.au 3. How Occupational UVR Exposure is Burning Australian Businesses........... 5 Types of Common Injuries to Outdoor Workers............................................ 6 Workers Compensation Claims.................................................................... 7 Case Studies................................................................................................. 9 According to BT Lawyers........................................................................... 9 The Role of OHS Professionals................................................................... 10 Strategy 1: UVR Hazard Risk Assessment.................................................. 11 Strategy 2: Sun Protection Control Measures............................................. 12 Types of Sun Protection Control Measures................................................. 13 Strategy 3: Sun Safety Training................................................................... 14 Strategy 4: Sun Protection Policy................................................................ 15 Strategy 5: Monitor the Program................................................................. 15 Strategy 6: Skin Cancer Screening............................................................. 16 Skin Cancer Screening Practitioners...............................................................17 Check the Provider Uses Advanced Screening Technology........................... 18 Time is Critical &amp; You Hold the Key............................................................. 19 A Word from Spotscreen............................................................................. 20 Testimonials................................................................................................. 21 References.................................................................................................. 22 Sun Protection Policy Template.............................................................................. 23 CONTENTS 4 www.spotscreen.net.au 4. Occupational ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is a significant risk to any business that has employees exposed to the sun while performing work responsibilities. It is estimated that 34% of all Australian workers fall into this category (4). When picturing an outdoor worker the first thought that comes to mind is usually that of a construction worker, road side worker, council worker or mining worker. However the classification of outdoor work reaches far more broadly. Other examples include delivery drivers, machinery operators, sport staff, property managers, teachers, police officers &amp; events staff. Below is a graph (8) outlining the level of sun exposure by industry in Australia, following a survey of 4,500 workers. How Occupational UVR Exposure is Burning Australian Businesses 5 Sun Exposure by Industry [XXX] = Number of respondents surveyed www.spotscreen.net.au 5. Common workplace injuries such as slips &amp; trips can happen to anyone whether they work indoors or outdoors. But there are a number of more specific injuries which are common to outdoor workers given their exposure to the environmental elements. Environmental elements are responsible for a large portion of outdoor injuries including; - Dehydration - Heat exhaustion - Heat stroke - Hyperthermia - Sunburn - Skin cancer Due to the often high temperatures in Australia throughout the year, injuries related to heat and UVR exposure are very common. It is in the prevention of these types of injuries which OHS professionals are required to focus on to ensure the risk of injury to employees is minimised. Of these common injuries to outdoor workers there is one in particular, skin cancer, which more recently has become of greater concern to businesses with outdoor workers. This is due to the growing number of compensation claims and clear government emphasis on protecting outdoor workers from this injury. Types of Common Injuries to Outdoor Workers 6 Over skin cancers are caused by occupational UVR expsoure every year. www.spotscreen.net.au 6. Due to exposure levels of 5-10 times more UVR than indoor workers, outdoor workers are at an above average risk of developing skin cancer (5). This is why it is absolutely critical that businesses have an appropriate strategy to prevent unprotected and over-exposure to UVR in the workplace. There has been a significant government crack-down on businesses that have been found to be neglecting or not enforcing this area of their health &amp; safety policies. The result has been a swift increase in successful workers compensation claims awarded. In 2011 the Cancer Council Western Australia released a document providing a summary of the workers compensation claims relating to occupational UVR exposure during 2000-2009. Its fair to say that the following data speaks for itself. The following Workers Compensation Claims information was drawn from the document; Occupational exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation: Workers compensation claims paid in Australia 2000-2009, Cancer Council Western Australia, 2011 Years of sun exposure while driving has left this US truck driver with permanent sun damage to the left side (driving side) of his face. 7 Number of claims for sun related injury/disease (inc. cancers) in Australia Workers Compensation Claims 7. Workers Compensation Claims Continued... 8 Cost of claims ($ millions) for sun related injury/disease &amp; cancers in Australia Typical payment for workers compensation claims made for sun related injury/disease www.spotscreen.net.au 8. In 2010 a record 6 figure payout was awarded to the family of a 43 year old Queensland man, a plasterer and carpenter, who passed away as a result of his melanoma. Occupational UVR exposure was found to have significantly contributed to the skin cancer. In 2006 a worker was awarded $65,000 for sun related injuries sustained as a result of time spent unprotected in the sun during employment. The employee suffered permanent impairment, pain, suffering and costs after his face and body were left permanently scarred by surgery to treat the sun damage. Section 32(1) of the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 states that if a worker sustains an injury where work is a significant contributing factor, then the statutory claim is one for acceptance. Work only has to amount to a significant contributing factor of the injury, even if it was not the main contributing factor. Additionally, the threshold of satisfying whether work is a significant factor, is relatively low. Case Studies 9 According to BT Lawyers who specialise in Workers Compensation claims www.spotscreen.net.au 9. Preventing injuries to outdoor workers requires more than just providing the necessary Personal Protective Equipment. Although this is a very important component, there is much more involved in ensuring employees remain safe from injuries related to outdoor work. There are a number of strategies you can implement to reduce risk of injury to your employees and potential liability to your business. They all form part of a workplace Sun Protection Policy. The Following 6 OHS strategies will assist with the development of a comprehensive Sun Protection Policy for your workplace. The Role of OHS Professionals 10 "It's now blatantly clear that employers who fail to put measures in place to protect their workers from sun exposure will face greater risks of compensation claims.... "There is now considerable legal precedent recognising claims for skin cancer caused by sun exposure in the workplace and the evidence is that claims will continue to rise." [7] Terry Slevin, Cancer Council Australia Chair, Occupational and Environmental Cancer Risk Committee, National Skin Cancer Committee 10. A UVR hazard risk assessment involves a comprehensive review of the UVR hazards and associated risks where outdoor work is required. This means identifying things like job tasks, projects, site locations and employees that may be of high risk of UVR exposure. Strategy 1: UVR Hazard Risk Assessment 11 What is it? Establish which employees are at high risk. - Dont forget your drivers! Find systems &amp; projects with highest risk of UVR exposure. - Which tasks are likely to see employees exposed to UVR? Consider all hazards including direct &amp; reflected UVR. - Reflected UVR is a major hazard (sand reflects up to 25% of UVR) Also consider geographic working locations, work time of day &amp; year. - Winter can still produce high UVR rates requiring protection What is the best way to do it? www.spotscreen.net.au 11. These are the measures designed to help prevent sun related injuries as a result of the hazards identified in the risk assessment. Once you have identified all of the UVR hazards from Strategy 1 then it is time to put the sun protection control measures in place. Strategy 2: Sun Protection Control Measures 12 What is it? Work together with employees to minimise risks. - Find out why some are not wearing sunscreen when they should - e.g. too greasy Introduce protective measures to combat hazards &amp; reduce risk of injury. Protective measures include engineering controls, administrative controls &amp; PPE. What is the best way to do it? www.spotscreen.net.au 12. Types of Sun Protection Control Measures 13 ENGINEERING CONTROLS Providing shade. Modifying reflective surfaces. Installing window tinting. Includes implementing strategies like... ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROLS PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE) Rescheduling outdoor work to hours when UVR is lower. Move jobs indoors where possible. Provide signage for high UVR environments. Includes implementing strategies like... Longs, breathable &amp; comfortable Protective gloves Wide brim hats or legionnaire style covers Minimum 30+ sunscreen &amp; lipbalm Sunglasses to AS/NZS 1067:2003 standard www.spotscreen.net.au 13. Sun safety training is all about educating employees on how to work safely in the sun and avoid skin cancer. Not only should it focus on sun safety at work, it should also cover sun safety out of work so employees are able to change their sun protection habits for long-term protection. A change in both at work and at home habits are required for a successful workplace sun safe culture. Strategy 3: Sun Safety Training 14 What is it? Harmful effects of UVR exposure. Risk factors for skin cancer. Correct use of sun protection measures. How to check for skin cancer. What to do if concerned about a spot. What is the best way to do it? Training should cover... www.spotscreen.net.au 14. A Sun Protection Policy is a workplace document which identifies and outlines how the organisation and employees are to manage the UVR risks. All workplaces that have employees or contractors performing duties outdoors should have one of these as a part of their safety policies. To download your free Sun Protection Policy Template, visit; http://spotscreen.net.au/our-services/sun-safety-at-work/ Strategy 4: Sun Protection Policy 15 What is it? Sun protection programs should be reviewed at least once every 2 years. Include a review of the current workplace UVR hazards and control measures to ensure they are still relevant and effective. Ask staff for feedback. What is the best way to do it? To make sure the sun protection program is working effectively you should set up an internal review process. This will ensure the ongoing quality of the program and integrity of the sun safety culture in your workplace. Strategy 5: Monitor the Program What is it? www.spotscreen.net.au 15. Early detection is critical for successful treatment of skin cancer. Onsite workplace skin cancer screening &amp; sun safety education programs can greatly assist in reducing the severity of injuries and increase responsiveness to sun safety training initiatives. Already 2 in 3 Australians will develop skin cancer before they are 70 (1). As an outdoor worker the odds of being one of these 2 in 3 is far greater. Skin cancer screening programs in the workplace help identify serious injuries early, helping to reduce recovery times and associated costs. Strategy 6: Skin Cancer Screening 16 What is it? Is highly specialised in the field. Provides a comprehensive onsite service. Conducts thorough full-body assessments. Reviews patients skin cancer history. Provides follow-ups to GP referrals. Provides a post-screening summary. What is the best way to do it? Find a skin cancer screening provider that... www.spotscreen.net.au 16. 17 Are certified health professionals. Have advanced training in skin cancer detection through a reputable industry association. Are those who perform the screenings (not assistants)....</p>

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