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Sun Safe Workplaces

Effect of an Occupational Skin Cancer Prevention Program on Employee Sun Safety Practices

Walkosz, Barbara J., PhD; Buller, David, PhD; Buller, Mary, MA; Wallis, Allan, PhD; Meenan, Richard, PhD; Cutter, Gary, PhD; Andersen, Peter, PhD; Scott, Michael, PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: November 2018 - Volume 60 - Issue 11 - p 990–997
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001427

Objective: Occupational skin cancer prevention is a priority because outdoor workers are exposed to high levels of ultraviolet radiation, the primary risk factor for skin cancer.

Methods: A 2-year follow-up assessment of the impact of Sun Safe Workplaces (SSW), a workplace sun safety program that promoted policy adoption and education, on employee sun safety behavior was conducted. Sixty-three of 98 local government organizations from the original study participated.

Results: Outdoor workers (n = 1724) completed surveys on personal sun protection practices. Employees’ sun protection improved statistically significantly in the intervention group receiving the SSW program. SSW's effect was mediated by the number of workplace actions to implement elements of the policy, including sun protection messages and equipment and employee reports of sun safety training.

Conclusion: Policy promotion is a feasible approach to occupational skin cancer prevention.

Klein Buendel, Inc., Golden, Colorado (Dr Walkosz, Dr Buller, Ms Buller); University of Colorado Denver, Denver, Colorado (Dr Wallis); Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Hillsboro, Oregon (Dr Meenan); University of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama (Dr Cutter); San Diego State University, San Diego, California (Dr Andersen); Mikonics, Inc., Santa Fe, New Mexico (Dr Scott).

Address correspondence to: Barbara J. Walkosz, PhD, 1667 Cole Blvd., Ste 225, Golden, CO 80401 (

This research was funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (CA CA187191).

Walkosz, Buller, Buller, Wallis, Meenan, Cutter, Andersen, and Scott have no relationships/conditions/circumstances that present potential conflict of interest.

The JOEM editorial board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

Copyright © 2018 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine