Factors Associated With Occupational Sun-Protection Policies in Local Government Organizations in Colorado
Importance Skin cancer prevention remains a national priority. Reducing chronic UV radiation exposure for outdoor workers through sun-safety practices is an important step to help reduce the incidence of skin cancer.
Objective To determine the presence of occupational sun-safety policies at local government organizations in a single state.
Design, Setting, and Participants Of 571 potentially eligible local government organizations of Colorado cities, counties, and special tax districts, we enrolled 98 in a randomized pretest-posttest controlled experiment starting August 15, 2010, that evaluated an intervention to promote the adoption of sun-safety policies. We used a policy-coding protocol to evaluate personal sun-protection practices, environmental and administrative controls, and policy directives for sun safety starting February 10, 2011. We report the baseline assessment of the occupational sun-protection policies of these organizations.
Main Outcomes and Measures The presence of an occupational sun-safety policy.
Results Overall, 85 local government organizations (87%) had policies that required personal sun-protection practices, including the use of eyewear, hats, and protective clothing. However, of the 98 responding organizations, only 8 hat policies (8%), 10 eyewear policies (10%), and 7 clothing policies (7%) mentioned sun protection as the intent of the policy. Only cosmopoliteness, operationalized as proximity to an urban area, was associated with the presence of a sun-safety policy (odds ratio, 0.99 [95% CI, 0.98-1.00]; P = .02).
Conclusions and Relevance Outdoor workers are at increased risk for skin cancer because of long-term exposure to solar UV radiation. Although organizational policies have the potential to increase sun protection in occupational settings, occupational sun-safety policies were uncommon among local governments. Opportunities exist for dermatologists and other physicians to influence occupational sun-safety practices and policies, which are consistent with other safety procedures and could easily be integrated into existing workplace practices.
JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(9):991-997. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.0575