National Skin Cancer Awareness Week – 21-27 November

National Skin Cancer Awareness Week – 21-27 November

As we approach the start of summer, we all need to be vigilant both at work and in our own time to protect ourselves from the sun. Whilst some jobs require us to spend more time out in the sun, it is extremely important to protect ourselves and book in for the yearly skin check.

Workplace Health and Safety Victoria can help you monitor your employee’s skin health by offering efficient, thorough on-site skin checks and education provided by trusted professionals.

Whether your employees work indoors or outdoors, workplace skin checks are a vital part of any health and wellness program.


According to SunSmart (2022), the sun’s UV radiation is a serious health and safety hazard – especially for people who work outdoors. Australia has some of the highest levels of UV radiation in the world and daily UV exposure adds to increased risk of cancer.

According to the Cancer Council, Australia still has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, including melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Currently two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70 every year, and around 2000 Australians die from this disease.


What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer occurs when skin cells are damaged, from overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation form the sun.


There are 3 main types of skin cancer:

  1. Basal Cell Carcinoma
  2. Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  3. Melanoma (the most dangerous form of skin cancer)


Skin Cancer Facts:

Every year in Australia:

  • Skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers
  • The majority of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun
  • The incidences of skin cancer is one of the highest in the world, two to three times the rates in Canada, the US and the UK

(Source: Cancer Council)


What to look out for on your skin:

According to the Cancer Council (2019), often melanomas have no symptoms, however, the first sign is generally a change in an existing mole or the appearance of a new spot. These changes can include:

  • A spot that has changed size, shape, color or texture
  • A spot that looks and feels different from other spots on your skin
  • A sore that is itching or bleeds
  • A sore that fails to completely heal



How can your employees minimise their chances of obtaining a melanoma?

  • Wear SPF30+ sunscreen
  • Wear a hat that covers the head, neck and ears
  • Avoid sunburn by minimising sun exposure when the UV Index exceeds 3 and especially in the middle of the day where UV levels are more intense
  • Seek shade where possible
  • Wear sun protective clothing and close-fitting sunglasses


Diagnosis for a melanoma:

If your employee notes a suspicious spot or mole on their skin, our doctors may examine using a magnifying instrument, using the ABCDE method:

  • A – Asymmetry – irregular
  • B – Border – uneven
  • C – Colour
  • D – Diameter – look for spots that are getting bigger
  • E – Evolving – changing and growing

If our doctor suspects a melanoma, your employee will be referred to their GP or otherwise they can visit our clinic for further testing.


Workplace Skin Checks:

Skin checks are vital for early detection of skin cancer and are an essential inclusion in any workplace wellness program. To enhance your employee health and wellness benefits, our trained skin doctors can provide a workplace skin check to your employees in 15 minutes – this involves the use of special lighting and tools to assess the whole body for spots or any areas of concern.

Please email [email protected] or call 0456 387 569 to discuss options for your workplace.

Melanoma March

Melanoma March

Melanoma March is a reminder to look after one of your greatest assets – your skin! Our doctors provide on site skin assessments for your staff – assisting with early detection of any areas of concern.


Some careers such as construction, or jobs which involve site visits, require employees to be out in the sun. Here’s some easy steps to ensure your workplace helps protect your employers from skin cancers and melanoma (Better Health, 2022).

  • Schedule outdoor activities in early morning or late afternoon when the UV radiation is high;
  • Provide information, instruction and training for workers about UV radiation and protection;
  • Modify reflective surfaces;
  • Provide personal protective equipment and clothing (wide brimmed hats, sunglasses, protective clothing, sunscreen and shade);
  • Develop a sun protection policy that documents control measures;
  • Conduct periodic assessments of the UV exposure risk to all workers;
  • Offer yearly skin assessments (provided on site at your location, by our doctors at WHS Vic);


According to The Skin Cancer Foundation (2022), early detection of a melanoma is crucial and can vastly increase your chances for a cure.


Look for anything new, changing or unusual on both sun-exposed and sun-protected areas. This should be a monthly practice. Keep in mind that melanomas can arrive anywhere on the skin, even in areas where the sun doesn’t shine. The ABCDE approach can help you check your skin:


A – A is Asymmetry: Most melanomas are asymmetrical. If your draw a line through the middle of the lesion and the two halves don’t match, be sure to have this professionally checked by a skin doctor.

B – B is for Border: Melanoma borders tend to be uneven and may have scalloped of notched edges.

C – C is for Colour: Multiple colours are warning signs.

D – D is for diameter and Dark: While it’s ideal to detect a melanoma when it is small, it’s a warning sign if a lesion is the size of a pencil eraser or larger. It’s also important to look for any lesion, no matter what size, that is darker than the others. Some rare melanomas are colourless.

E – E is Evolving: Any change in size, colour, shape or elevation of a spot on your skin or any new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting are warning signs.


Remember: Early detection is key!


For more on early detection and pictures –

Is it Time to Prioritise your Employee Wellbeing Program?

Is it Time to Prioritise your Employee Wellbeing Program?

Ever wondered if it would be worth incorporating a corporate/employee wellbeing program into your workplace benefits?

According to My Short Lister (2021) and Hunter Link (2021), we’ve done the hard work for you and found the statistics and evidence!

How do employees benefit from Wellness Programs?

  • 70% of employees enrolled in wellness programs have reported higher job satisfaction than those not enrolled in the company’s program;
  • Employees are more likely to recommend a company that supports well-being, as a great place to work;
  • 56% of employees have fewer sick days because of wellness programs;
  • Employee morale is cited as the most improved (54%) metric from implementing wellness plans;
  • 62% of participants in a wellness plan said that is helped them lower healthcare costs;
  • Increased productivity;
  • Improved engagement;
  • Encourages innovation;

How employers benefit from Wellness Programs?

  • Increased productivity from their employees;
  • Reduced accidents and incidents;
  • Reduced absenteeism;
  • Increased staff engagement and retention;
  • Positions your company for an employer of choice;
  • 63% of employers offering wellness programs reported increased financial sustainability and growth;
  • For every US dollar spent on wellness programs, the company saves $5.82 in lower employee absenteeism costs;
  • About 77% of employees agree that workplace wellness programs can help reduce costs;
  • Employees feel their needs are recognised and valued and goodwill and collaboration is more prominent;

What are some ideas to incorporate into your wellness program?

  • Yearly health assessments, measuring heart health, diabetes screening and cholesterol screening (offered by WHS Vic);
  • Yearly skin checks (offered by WHS Vic);
  • Education sessions on healthy eating and physical activity in the workplace (offered by WHS Vic);
  • Free flu shots for employees on site (reducing sick days and minimising the time spent away from work, offered by WHS Vic);
  • Offer workshops on stress management in the workplace(offered by WHS Vic);
  • Bike sharing program;
  • Lunchtime walking group;
  • Lunchtime meditation;
  • Mental health training workshops (offered by WHS Vic);
  • Resiliency and positive psychology (offered by WHS Vic);
  • Corporate yoga/pilates classes;
  • Team fitness challenges – ie. the team who runs the most km’s for the month wins a prize;
  • Gym membership subsidies;
  • Team games;
  • Corporate team cooking classes;
  • Healthy cooking demonstrations;
  • Nutrition seminars (offered by WHS Vic);
  • Men’s and Women’s Health Seminars (offered by WHS Vic);
  • Corporate massages;
  • Corporate retreats;
A Sun Smart Summer

A Sun Smart Summer

It’s officially Summer and the silly season is upon us! From family BBQ’s and beach days, to working outside in the heat – we all have to be sun smart to protect our skin from UV radiation.


According to SunSmart (2021), the sun’s UV radiation is a serious health and safety hazard – especially for people who work outdoors. Australia has some of the highest levels of UV radiation in the world and daily UV exposure adds to increased risk of cancer.


It is estimated that approximately 200 melanomas and 34,000 other skin cancers diagnosed each year in Australia are the result of UV exposure in the workplace (SunSmart, 2021).


However, most skin cancers can be avoided – here’s some tips on how to care for your skin with the slip, slop, slap, seek and slide approach!

  • Slip on clothing – Clothing can be a great barrier between the sun’s UV and your skin.
  • Slop on sunscreen – Sunscreen should be considered the last line of defence. No sunscreen blocks 100% of UV radiation.
  • Slap on a hat – look for a hat with a tight weave and broad brim that provides good shade to your face, head, neck and ears.
  • Seek shade – Shade can be natural, built or portable.
  • Slide on sunglasses – Choose a close fitting, wrap-around style of sunglasses.


Workplace Skin Checks:

Skin checks are vital for early detection of skin cancer and are an essential inclusion in any workplace wellness program. To enhance your employee health and wellness benefits, our trained skin doctors can provide a workplace skin check to your employees in 15 minutes – this involves the use of special lighting and tools to assess the whole body for spots or any areas of concern.

Please email [email protected] or call 0456 387 569 to discuss options for your workplace.


Tradies National Health Month

Tradies National Health Month

This month we are celebrating our tradies!


In light of Tradies National Health Month, we’ve researched various statistics for you:

  • Tradies are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer due to being exposed to the sun for extended periods of time;
  • Young apprentice tradesmen (17-25yo) generally do not eat enough fresh food and consume too much junk food on the job and at home;
  • 94% of tradies report that they don’t eat enough fruit and/or vegetables;
  • Tradies/construction workers and ‘blue collar’ careers, have some of the highest suicide rate in Australia amongst men;
  • 33% of males in the construction industry have high blood pressure;
  • 45% are at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease;
  • 69% believed that being sore is just normal for the work they do;
  • 68% said that they follow safe guidelines of lifting, leaving 30% at greater risk of injury from unsafe lifting;
  • Every day 10 tradies are badly injured at work – a total of 3,650 injuries to tradies each year, with back injuries being the most common;

Sources: Vic Health Government, Blokes Psychology, Ethos Health, Service Seeking (dates ranging from 2017 – 2020).


How can WHS Vic help your workplace to support your tradies?

  • Individual Health Assessments onsite, screening for heart health, diabetes, cholesterol and body composition (including bone density screening) to determine a problem before it’s too late;
  • Presentations to your tradies from our dietician, tailored to you – we suggest information on how to maintain healthy body weight to combat diabetes, high cholesterol and an unhealthy heart. Our dietician can also explain times of the day to eat for tradies, the importance of specific foods for fuel and basic nutrition for health and wellbeing.
  • Presentations to your team involving stretching techniques before beginning work, lifting techniques, strengthening exercises and the norm of how your body should feel day to day;
  • Presentations from our psychologists to your team with techniques on how to achieve optimal mental health and
  • Onsite skin checks for your tradies;
  • In clinic (located in Geelong) audiometry and spirometry;
  • Drug and Alcohol education;
  • In clinic range of movement and physiotherapist assessment, offering advice and techniques to combat injury in the workplace;

Get in touch with us to help celebrate and support your tradies’ optimal health.

Tradies’ National Health Month

Tradies’ National Health Month

August raises awareness of the risks posed to those who work in trade occupations.
According to Victoria Health and Queensland Health, some common health issues that tradies are faced with include:
• Consistent sun exposure
• Psychological pressure
• Poor mental health
• Poor nutrition
• Insufficient exercise
• Alcohol and drugs
𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝘄𝗲 𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗽 𝘆𝗼𝘂?
We offer 𝑒𝑑𝑢𝑐𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑠𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠 to construction sites from qualified 𝑑𝑖𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑛𝑠, 𝑝𝑠𝑦𝑐ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑜𝑔𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑝ℎ𝑦𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑝𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑠.
Our 𝑑𝑖𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑛𝑠 are skilled in educating what foods to eat at certain times of the day to fuel your brain, how to maintain a healthy body weight and considerations for shift workers.
Our 𝑝𝑠𝑦𝑐ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑜𝑔𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑠 are skilled in educating worksites on well being within the workplace, the effect of drugs and alcohol on one’s ability to work, coping with stress and anxiety, managing conflict and maintaining a work-life balance.
Our 𝑝ℎ𝑦𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑝𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑠 educate on lifting techniques in the workplace, stretches and strength exercises to minimise the risk of workplace injury.
On top of this we offer skin checks from qualified 𝐺𝑃’𝑠, health assessments conducted by 𝑁𝑢𝑟𝑠𝑒𝑠 and Drug & Alcohol testing.
Get in contact with us to celebrate and support your tradies – [email protected] or 0456 387 569.