Employers in Australia

In Australia, there has been aggressive public education about skin cancer and sun safety over the past 25 years. The link between sun exposure and skin cancer has been well established in the public mind and in the legal system. In many cases, individuals who have been diagnosed with skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, have successfully won worker's compensation awards from their employers. Here are three examples from the public records.

Kevin Gill worked as an outdoor painter, laborer and truck driver for various Federal government departments. He developed hyperkeratosis and basal cell carcinoma. In 1995, the court found his skin cancer was contributed to in a material degree by his employment with the Federal government resulting in permanent impairment and awarded worker's compensation.

Keith Treloar was a telephone linesman for a national carrier, Telstra and developed melanoma. In 1999, the court found his severe and permanent facial disfigurement was contributed to by the nature and conditions of his employment and awarded worker's compensation.

John Raymond Wall was a construction worker who developed melanoma and died. In 2000, his estate was awarded worker's compensation because the tendency, incidents and characteristics of his employment substantially contributed to his contraction of melanoma.

In Australia today, employers are careful to promote sun safety within the work environment. SunSmart programs involve the provision of various products (such as UPF clothing, sun hats, sunscreen and sunglasses), worker and management communication and training programs, and formal program evaluation activities. For more detailed information about these programs, visit SunSmart Australia Sun Protection in the Workplace.