Working outdoors

Date to be advised.

November 2004.

Monash University is committed to providing employees and students with a healthy and safe environment for work and study. This information sheet provides advice to Monash University staff and students required to work outdoors.

The hazard and the risk

Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world with 2 out of every 3 Australians living to 75 years of age developing some type of skin cancer. Prolonged exposure to sunlight is recognised as the major cause of skin cancer in Australia.

Those at risk

  • Gardeners.
  • Security staff.
  • Maintenance workers.
  • Sports & recreation staff.
  • Cleaners.
  • Participants in field trips.

Preventive measures - when working outdoors


  • Set up work in the shade of trees, buildings and other structures.
  • Create shade with portable structures.
  • As the shady areas move, the work should ideally move with it.

Work scheduling

  • Schedule outdoor work to avoid the hottest part of the day (10am-2pm or 11am-3pm in daylight saving).
  • Roster staff to minimise times spent outdoors by any one person.
  • Ensure that work scheduled to occur outdoors is fully resourced for efficient completion.


  • Keep good supplies of cool water must always within reach.
  • Drink at least 2 glasses of water every hour.
  • Personal protective measures.


  • Be loose fitting.
  • Be closely woven light coloured fabric.
  • Have long sleeves & cover legs.


  • Worn at all times.
  • Wide brimmed.


  • Be protected by sunglasses complying with Australian Standards.


  • Have applications of SPF30+ Broad spectrum sunsreen every 2-3 hours or after getting wet.


  • Be protected by SPF 30+ lip screen.

Further information

Contact Occupational Health and Safety on: