News & Events

The great cover up – staying protected in the sun

Did you know that if you’re a plumber working outdoors, you have a 60% higher chance of developing skin cancer than a plumber who works indoors?  Wearing a singlet or shirt with shorts will not cut it – you won’t be properly protected from the sun’s Ultraviolet (UV) radiation which can cause skin damage that may lead to cancer.  

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) your employer must provide and maintain, so far as is reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risk to your health.  You also have a responsibility under the OHS Act to take reasonable care of your own health and safety and must co-operate with your employer on any action they need to take to maintain a safe and healthy working environment for you.  

The best way to protect yourself from the sun and prevent skin cancer when working outdoors is to wear suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).   

All Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria (PAV) apprentices, must abide by the PAV policy on PPE – Protective clothing covering the full body (including arms and legs) is to be worn to protect skin from cuts abrasions and environmental conditions.

The PPE provided to apprentices by PAV for you to wear when working outdoors includes:

  • Close weaved long sleeve collared shirts and long pants. Three quarter length shirts sleeves may be worn for short durations provided that sunscreen is applied to any exposed skin.
  • A wide brim hat to protect neck and ears or if a hard hat is worn it should be fitted with a material neck flap to protect the neck.
  • Safety glasses that comply with Australian Standard AS1337 - Eye protectors for industrial applications, in a wrap-around style (or sunglasses with side shields) that comply with Australian Standard AS/NZS 1067 – Sunglasses and fashion spectacles. The PPE glasses provided to you MUST be worn, not your personal fashion sunglasses.
  • Broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum UV 50+ rating MUST be applied to any exposed skin and reapplied every 2 hours or when required according to label instructions.

If any of the PPE provided to you by Plumbing Apprenticeships Victoria is faulty in any way, does not fit correctly, is uncomfortable or needs to be replaced, please report this to your Host Employer and Field Officer. 

Keep your skin covered - you owe it to yourself, your family, and your employer. 

Find out more about sun protection:

WorkSafe Victoria - Sun Protection For Construction And Other Outdoor Workers

Sun SmartUV. It all adds up.