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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UAB Study: Implementation of Occupational Sun Safety at a 2-Year Follow-Up

Dr. Gary Cutter, professor in the department of biostatistics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health collaborated with a team of researchers to assess the implementation of employer sun safety actions in a 2-year follow-up to an occupational sun protection policy intervention.

[Photo: Dr. Gary Cutter]

Two-year follow-up assessment in a randomized pretest-posttest controlled design was implemented with local government organizations with workers in public safety, public works, and parks and recreation.

Participants included sixty-three local government organizations (participation = 64 percent) and 330 frontline supervisors and 1454 workers who participated in a Sun Safe Workplaces (SSW) intervention promoting occupational sun safety policy and education.

The team measured observations of SSW messages and sun safety items and surveys on organizations’ communication and actions on sun safety.

For their analysis, comparison between SSW and control groups was conducted using regression models and adjusted for clustering where appropriate, with α criterion set at P = .05 (2-tailed).

At intervention worksites, more SSW messages ( P < .001) and sun safety items ( P = .025) were observed; more frontline supervisors reported organizations provided free/reduced price sunscreen ( P = .005) and communicated about sun safety ( P < .001); and more workers recalled receiving sun safety messages ( P < .001) and sun safety training ( P <.001) compared to control organizations. Implementation was greater at larger than smaller intervention organizations for wide-brimmed hats ( P = .009), long work pants ( P = .017), and shade structures ( P = .036). Older workers received the most written messages ( P = .015).

The research team concludes that Sun Safe Workplaces appeared to produce actions by organizations to support employee sun safety. Large organizations may have processes, communication channels, and slack resources to achieve more implementation.

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