AMSJ » Sun safety | It’s time to get serious
MINERS HEALTH Skin protection

Sun safety | It’s time to get serious

Sun protection and sun safety are key issues for work health and safety

Sun safety is now an important part of any good health and safety program. Joanne Crotty from Danger Sun Overhead knows the first-hand impact of sun-related skin cancer in her life. She shares some of her latest thoughts on sun protection and how important it is to the mining industry.

Do you remember the Sun Smart campaign “SLIP, SLOP, SLAP.”?  Were you from the Sun Smart campaign era “No Hat No Play”? or was there no awareness around sun exposure in your early years to educate the dangers of sun exposure?

In 1981, when the SLIP SLOP SLAP campaign was released, we saw Sid the Seagull dance along to this jingle, with a lisp, on the television.  The ad was one the most successful health campaigns in Australia. The campaign saw a reduction in the two most common causes of Skin Cancer, Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) and Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC).  However, the incidence of Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, had increased.

Today, although Australians behaviours towards prevention of Skin Cancer has got better, Skin Cancer remains the most diagnosed cancer in Australia with Melanoma sitting at our 4th most fatal cancer.

So!  “Are we doing enough Prevention against skin cancer?”

Danger Sun Overhead exhibited at the 31st 2019 Queensland Mining Health and Safety conference at the Star Casino on the Gold Coast from August 19 to 22, raising the awareness of the Danger Sun Overhead (DSO) program.

We had available a Reveal Camera that took an Ultra-Violet (UV) image of the faces of the delegates, showing the not yet visible signs of UV damage. The images were educational yet powerful in raising awareness of each delegate’s own preventative measures throughout their life thus far, and the importance of early detection of skin cancer due to their results.

After the success of the conference, the team at DSO decided to put together a collection of generations to show the not yet visible signs of UV exposure.  The images we show brings us to ask our next question; 

A close up of a person

Description automatically generated
A close up of a person

Description automatically generated
A close up of a person

Description automatically generated

“How much more could you do for yourself, family or work colleagues with preventative measures?”

DSO, a not-for-profit charity, was founded when, Joanne Crotty lost her husband, Rohan Crotty, to melanoma skin cancer in July 2009 at the age of 43, leaving her to raise their 4 boys under the age of five. 

Rohan, a plasterer/carpenter by trade was always exposed to the hazards of UV exposure in the workplace. After his first diagnosis of melanoma in 2006, Rohan recognised that Sun Exposure in the construction industries was not being addressed. He started campaigning and helped the University of Qld with their research into skin cancers in the workplace on several construction sites. 

After Rohan’s passing, Jo wanted to share her story because most skin cancers can be prevented through prevention and early detection, if people had access to education and awareness about skin cancer, and so DSO was born. 


Since the formation of DSO in 2009, the Sun Safety initiative has provided education to almost 47,000 workshop attendees in workplaces across Qld, NSW, VIC, ACT and NT. 

DSO’s objectives are to educate in a manner that encourages sustainable behavioural change towards prevention and reduce the impact of Skin Cancers on all Australians. 

We do this through Educating the Awareness, Prevention, Early detection and Support of Melanoma and other skin cancers in high risk outdoor industries across Australia.

 Our workshop encompasses topics such as; the dangers of Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR); understand WHS Guidelines for the workplace and practical information to apply whilst working in or exposed to UVR; understand UVR levels and reflections of UVR; influence behavioural change using Prevention measures, and how UV exposure can affect heat stress and Risks of developing skin cancers. 

Testimony Danger Sun Overhead

“Jo, thank you for your time over the past fortnight.

Feedback from both sites has been exceptional, with both Neil and Shane commending both the presentation and the impact that it has had on the workers.

Since your presentation at Leslie Harrison last week, 5 workers have had full body checks of which 2 have had subsequent excisions (one worker had SIX in one go). The project now has an agreement with the local clinic and more workers are booked in over the coming weeks.

I will share this feedback amongst the business and look forward to hopefully working together again in the future.”

Zach Humphrey | Senior Safety Advisor | Fulton Hogan

About Danger Sun Overhead

Since the formation of Danger Sun Overhead in 2010, the Sun Safety initiative has provided education to over 43,000 workshop attendees in workplaces across Australia. Danger Sun Overhead’s services continue to be in high demand, delivering education workshops in all Australian states and territories.

Danger Sun Overhead objectives are to reduce the impact of Melanoma and all other skin cancers on all Australians. We do this through Awareness/Education, Prevention, Early Detection, and Support of Melanoma and other skin cancers in high-risk outdoor industries, sporting bodies, and educational institutions across Australia.

Danger Sun Overhead, in particular, Jo Crotty, has been officially recognized through the awarding of significant commendations for the valuable work she undertakes to provide guidance to employers and industry leaders who seek to offer the best level of sun preventative care and working conditions to their workers.

Read more Mining Safety News

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

AMSJ April 2022