View Current

Sun Protection Policy

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this policy to the document author - refer to the Status and Details on the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - PURPOSE AND CONTEXT

(1) Western Sydney University has an obligation under the NSW Work Health and Safety Act (2011) to provide a working environment that is safe and without risk to health.

(2) The University acknowledges the known health risks associated with exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation for individuals required to work outdoors. Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world and individuals who work outdoors for all or part of the day have a higher than average risk of skin cancer.

(3) This policy aims to eliminate, and where not practicable, reduce worker exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation by implementing appropriate sun protection control measures for the purpose of reducing the potential for skin cancer to occur in the workplace.

Top of Page

Section 2 - DEFINITIONS

(4) For the purpose of this policy:

  1. SPF - means Sun Protection factor;
  2. UV - means ultraviolet;
  3. UVR - means ultraviolet radiation;
  4. UPF - means ultraviolet protection factor;
  5. PPCE - means personal protective clothing and equipment;
  6. AS - means Australian Standard;
  7. Outdoor work - includes gardening, farm work, outdoor field work, outdoor security, maintenance and construction; and
  8. Outdoor worker - means staff, students, researchers, contractors, visitors and others who, in the course of their work for the University, are required to work outdoors.
Top of Page

Section 3 - POLICY STATEMENT

(5) The University expects its staff, students, researchers, contractors, visitors and others to adhere to this policy and to the University's Work Health and Safety Policy to maintain a safe and healthy environment by minimising the risks from exposure to solar UVR.

(6) The University will conduct appropriate risk assessments in consultation with health and safety representatives and outdoor workers to identify work situations where exposure to solar UVR occurs and those individuals who have a high risk of exposure to solar UVR.

(7) The University will implement systems of work to reduce an individual's exposure to solar UVR by requiring the use of sun protection control measures by outdoor workers when the UV index is 3 and above and when working near highly reflective surfaces.

(8) The University recognises that a combination of sun protection control measures (including engineering, administrative, personal protective equipment and clothing) provide the best protection from exposure to solar UVR.

(9) The University recognises that supervision of outdoor workers and monitoring of the use of sun protection control measures is required to ensure compliance.

Responsibilities

(10) In accordance with the responsibilities set out in the University Work Health and Safety Policy:

  1. Managers and supervisors will:
    1. provide training to staff and students to enable them to work safely in the sun;
    2. encourage staff to examine their own skin and provide appropriate self-examination education programs and information;
    3. and ensure that the appropriate sun protective PPCE is provided to staff.
  2. Employees will:
    1. cooperate with all measures introduced by management to minimise the risks associated with exposure to solar UVR;
    2. comply with instructions and advice in regards to the use of sun protection control measures (including the use of PPCE);
    3. participate in sun protection education programs;
    4. act as positive role models; and
    5. be responsible for their own sun protective practices at work.

(11) A breach of this policy may be dealt with as a breach of discipline and dealt with in accordance with the relevant employment agreement and/or University policy.

Top of Page

Section 4 - PROCEDURES

(12) Deans, heads of units and Directors are responsible for ensuring that an appropriate risk assessment is undertaken for work involving a higher risk of solar UV exposure. Safe work procedures utilising appropriate control strategies must then be implemented with reference to the Sun Protection Guidelines for Outdoor Workers. Control strategies should include:

  1. the use of natural and/or artificial shade;
  2. administrative and procedural measures;
  3. personal protection.

(13) Managers and supervisors are responsible for ensuring that safe work procedures are developed in a consultation with staff. These procedures should be written by a staff member with sound knowledge and experience of the task(s). Staff and students are required to comply with control measures identified and report any difficulties in achieving compliance with their supervisor.

(14) The University will provide staff with appropriate sun protective PPCE as described in the Sun Protection Guidelines for Outdoor Workers.

(15) Supervisors of students must ensure that students are aware of the requirement to obtain approved PPCE at their own expense.

Top of Page

Section 5 - GUIDELINES

(16) The University Sun Protection Guidelines for Outdoor Workers provide information and guidance to outdoor staff and students on how to reduce exposure to solar UV radiation.