Outdoor workers' perceptions of the risks of excess sun-exposure.

School of Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Journal of Occupational Health (Impact Factor: 1.1). 08/2009; 51(5):404-11. DOI: 10.1539/joh.L9030
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To describe the pattern of associations with sunscreen use of sun protection attitudes and knowledge in a large sample of New Zealand outdoor workers. We also examined the relationship between perceived skin type and perceived risk of developing skin cancer.
Outdoor workers from nine occupational groups (n=1,131) completed a questionnaire, which included measures of skin cancer related risk perceptions, knowledge and sunscreen use.
Sunscreen use was associated with perceived prioritization of sun-protection, concern about sun-exposure, knowledge about the effects of sun-exposure and perceived supportive workplace culture. These variables accounted for 37% of the variation in sunscreen use. Maori, younger workers and forestry workers least likely to report sunscreen use and sun-exposure risk perception.
Interventions that strengthen knowledge about risks and values of sun protection are likely to increase sun protection efforts. However, interventions for outdoor workers need to take into account potential socio-demographic, personal and workplace influences are required to prevent the risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancers within this population group.

Download full-text


Available from: Elizabeth Robinson, Jul 03, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to determine the factors associated with sun exposure behaviors among Operating Engineers (heavy equipment operators). Operating Engineers (N = 498) were asked to complete a cross-sectional survey. Linear and logistic regression analyses were used to determine health behavioral, perceptional, and demographic factors associated with sun exposure behavior (sun burns, blistering, use of sunscreen, and interest in sun protection services). Almost half reported two or more sunburns/summer and the median times blistering was 2 with a range of 0-100. About one-third never used sun block, while just over one-third rarely used sun block. Almost one-quarter were interested in sun protection guidance. Multivariate analyses showed that perceptions of skin type, alcohol problems, fruit intake, BMI, sleep quality, age, sex, and race were significantly associated with at least one of the outcome variables (P < 0.05). Operating Engineers are at high risk for skin cancer due to high rates of exposure to ultraviolet light and low rates of sun block use. Subgroups of Operating Engineers are particularly at risk for sun damage. Interventions are needed to decrease sun exposure among Operating Engineers.
    American Journal of Industrial Medicine 09/2012; 55(9):786-92. DOI:10.1002/ajim.22079 · 1.59 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The present review is aimed at providing an overview of skin cancer with particular focus on occupational concern and giving evidence-based recommendation for effective prevention at workplace. We performed a systematic search of literature using PubMed and the Cochrane Library. Outcome of preventive strategies depends either on efficacy of the strategy itself but also on acceptance and implementation of protective means among the persons at possible risk for hazardous health effects. Epidemiological studies have reported significantly more non-melanoma skin cancer in men than in women. Life-style choices and difference in immunosuppression play a major role in this gender disparity. Tumor biology of skin cancer is diverging: severe blistering sunburns corresponding to intermittent intense UV exposures are associated with an increased risk for both melanoma and basal cell carcinoma (BCC); whereas the risk of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and actinic keratoses (AK) is strongly associated with chronic UV exposure. Several clinical trials give evidence that long-term use of sunscreen prevents the appearance of non-melanotic skin cancer such as AK and SCC, but not of BCC. All technical and organizing measures aimed at reducing UV exposure at workplace belong to first-line prevention; however, there is much room for improvement. The efficacy of personal protection means (second-line strategy) strongly depends on the workers' compliance which is quite low at workplace. Evidence-based data confirming the benefit of sun protective strategies are scarce, general recommendations are mainly based on the avoidance of UV radiation being identified as potential risk factor for non-melanoma skin cancer in epidemiological studies. Occupational screenings should include regular interventions aimed at enhancing a clear understanding of risk factors for individuals and finally improving the acceptance and maintenance for UV-protective means at workplace.
    International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 04/2010; 83(8):843-54. DOI:10.1007/s00420-010-0532-4 · 2.20 Impact Factor
  • The New Zealand medical journal 02/2011; 124(1329):99-100.