The Hazard – Sun Exposure

Too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun causes sunburn, skin damage and increases the risk of skin cancer. Sun exposure in the first 15 years of life contributes significantly to the lifetime risk of developing skin cancer. Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Skin cancers account for 80% of all new cancers diagnosed in Australia each year. Melanoma is the most diagnosed cancer for 15 – 44 year olds.

Policy

Presbyterian Ladies’ College is committed to providing a safe working environment for all our students, workers and visitors. It is our policy to:

  • increase student and community awareness about skin cancer and sun protection
  • encourage the entire College community to use a combination of sun protection measures
  • work towards a safe College environment that provides shade for students, staff and the College community assist students to be responsible for their own sun protection
  • ensure that families and new staff are informed of this policy
  • support student duty of care requirements
  • support appropriate workplace safety strategies to minimise UV risk and associated harms for staff and visitors.

Sun Protection Strategies

Presbyterian Ladies’ College has developed the following sun protection strategies:

General

  • Staff and or students check the daily local sun protection times. This is added to our College homepage. The sun protection times are a forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology for the time of day that UV levels are forecast to reach three or above. At these levels, sun protection is recommended for all skin types.
  • All students and staff use a combination of sun protection measures throughout the day whenever UV levels are three or above to ensure they are well protected at the appropriate times.
  • A combination of sun protection measures is required when the UV rating is 3 or above all year round. Active outdoor play is encouraged all year.

Shade

  • The College makes sure there is sufficient shelter and trees providing shade in the College grounds particularly in areas where students congregate (e.g. lunch areas, canteen, outdoor lesson areas and popular play areas).
  • Shade provision is considered in plans for future buildings and grounds.
  • Playgrounds should be designed with areas of effective summer shade from either trees or built elements, or both. Playgrounds which comply with Australian Standard AS 4685.0:2017, Playground equipment and surfacing – Development, installation, inspection, maintenance and operation, are encouraged but optional. Refer to Supervision & Inspection – Playground.
  • The availability of shade is considered when planning excursions and outdoor activities.
  • Students are actively encouraged to use available areas of shade when outside. Students who do not have appropriate hats or outdoor clothing are asked to stay in an area protected from the sun.

Hats

  • Students are required to wear hats that protect their face, neck and ears whenever they are outside.
  • Recommended sun-safe hats include legionnaire, broad-brimmed and bucket hats. Baseball caps do not offer enough protection and are not recommended.
  • Students who do not have an appropriate sun protective hat will be asked to stay in shaded areas only.
Hats – Junior School Only
  • Primary school students are required to wear hats that protect their face, neck and ears whenever they are outside; and
  • Students who do not have an appropriate sun protective hat will be asked to stay in shaded areas only.
Hats & Clothing – Middle & Senior School
  • Hats must be worn for outdoor sport and activities.
  • Panama hats must be worn to and from school in Terms 1 and 4.
  • Students must have adequate coverage to their shoulders and back when swimming or otherwise engaged in activities outdoors.

Sunscreen

  • [VARIABLE: The College supplies SPF30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen for staff and student’s use.
  • AND / OR Parents/carers are responsible for providing students with their own SPF30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen to be used while at College or participating in College activities.]
  • Sunscreen is applied in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions, and at least 20 minutes before going outdoors. Sunscreen should be reapplied at least every two hours, and more frequently when participating in sport, sweating or swimming, and after towel drying.
  • Time will be allocated for sunscreen application prior to outdoor activities.
  • Strategies are in place to remind students to apply sunscreen before going outdoors (e.g. reminder notices, sunscreen monitors, sunscreen buddies).

Sunglasses

  • Close-fitting wrap-around sunglasses that comply with Australian Standards AS/NZS 1067.1 2016, Eye and face protection – Sunglasses and fashion spectacles, Part 1: Requirements (Sunglasses: lens category 2, 3 or 4) and cover as much of the eye area as possible are encouraged but optional.

Role Modelling

  • Staff act as role models by using a combination of sun protection measures as outlined above when the UV level is 3 or above.
    Staff act as role models by:

    • Wearing sun protective hats, clothing and sunglasses when outdoors;
    • Applying SPF 30+ broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen; and
    • Seeking shade whenever possible.

Curriculum

  • Families and visitors are also encouraged to use a combination of sun protection measures (sun protective clothing and hats, sunglasses and sunscreen) when participating in and attending outdoor College activities.
  • Sun protection and skin cancer awareness programs are incorporated into appropriate areas of the College curriculum.
  • Students are encouraged to be involved in initiatives to promote and model sun protection measures to the whole College community.
  • Sun safe behaviour is regularly reinforced and promoted to the whole College community through newsletters, College public website, parent meetings, staff meetings, College assemblies, student and teacher activities and on student enrolment.

Uniform

Sun protective clothing is included in the College uniform/dress code and sports uniform. This includes clothing with:

  • elbow length sleeves
  • shirts and tops that cover shoulders, with a collar that sits close to the neck, above the collarbone appropriate hats
  • appropriate gloves and other accessories (where required for the activity)
  • appropriate sunglasses
  • other appropriate sun protective clothing.

Sun protective clothing with a UPF rating, in compliance with Australian Standard AS/NZS 4399:2017, Sun protective clothing – Evaluation and classification, is encouraged but optional.

Refer to the Uniform Policy.

Scheduling and Planning

Sun protection is considered when planning all outdoor events (e.g. assemblies, camps, excursions and sporting events).

Before commencing an inter-state excursion, the organising staff will check the daily local sun protection times of the relevant state/territory, and continue to monitor for the duration of the excursion. Refer to the Excursions Policy.

Workers’ Responsibility

All workers must follow the guidelines as set out in this policy.

Implementation

This policy is implemented through a combination of:

  • staff and student training and awareness of issues relating to skin and safe sun exposure implementation of sun protection measures
  • effective notification procedures
  • effective communication procedures
  • effective record keeping procedures
  • initiation of corrective actions where necessary.

Discipline for Breach of Policy

Where a staff member breaches this policy Presbyterian Ladies’ College may take disciplinary action.

Review

Presbyterian Ladies’ College is committed to the continuous review and improvement of all its operations, including this policy.

It is the responsibility of the *Insert Position Title* to regularly monitor and review the effectiveness of the Sun Protection Policy to ensure it is working in practice, and revise the policy when required.

Related Policies

Student Duty of Care Program

Workplace Safety Program

Heat Stress Policy

Personal Protective Equipment Policy

Sun Protection (General Staff)

Policy Sun Protection (Outdoor Workers)

Policy Adverse Weather Policy

Supervision & Inspection – Playground Uniform Policy

Excursions Policy

External Resources