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Sun Smart Policy

Effective UV protection strategies are crucial in minimising skin cancer risks to support our obligations and duty of care to all those associated with our club.

Rationale

Every sporting club has a responsibility to provide a safe environment for their staff, officials, volunteers, members and participants. Identifying hazards and risk management strategies are key to providing a safe sporting environment. This includes ultraviolet (UV) radiation and sun protection. 

Too much UV radiation exposure can cause sunburn, skin and eye damage and skin cancer. Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. More than two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. As the sun’s UV radiation (which cannot be seen or felt) is the major cause of skin cancer, most skin cancers can be prevented by using sun protection measures whenever UV levels are three or higher.

Relevance

Where appropriate, this policy applies to all members, players, coaches, staff, officials, administrators, parents, supporters, spectators and visitors.

Purpose

This policy provides guidelines on our intentions and actions in relation to effective UV protection strategies to minimise skin cancer risk to all club users. It represents our commitment to our legal requirements, duty of care obligations and ethical stance in order to protect the health and wellbeing of all those associated with our club.

Principles

  • To uphold the reputation of our club, our sponsors and partners.

  • To comply, and exceed where practicable, all applicable legislation, regulations and codes of practice.

  • To continually strive to improve our Sun Smart performance.

Measures & Actions

Where possible, training, events and competitions are scheduled to minimise exposure to UV. Where it is not possible to avoid peak UV periods, the following measures are considered to minimise risks:

  • Warm-up activities and play duration are reduced where possible with additional break times in shade included

  • Activities start earlier in the morning or later in the evening

  • Staff, officials and volunteers frequently rotate out of direct UV

  • Activity is held at an alternative venue (e.g. training under shade or indoors)

Shade

  • An assessment of existing shade is conducted at commonly used outdoor venues

  • Shade from buildings, trees and other structures is used where possible (e.g. for player interchange, marshalling areas, spectator areas, coach talks, presentation ceremonies)

  • When not actively playing or between individual events, participants are encouraged to rest in shaded areas 

  • Staff, officials and volunteers rotate to shaded areas and are encouraged to take breaks in the shade

  • Where there is insufficient natural or built shade, temporary shade structures are provided or participants and spectators are invited to bring their own temporary shade (e.g. tents or umbrellas)

Clothing

  • Sun-protective clothing is included as part of on and off-field uniform and uniform / dress code for staff, officials and volunteers

  • Tops/jerseys, trousers/skirts or rashies are made from UPF (UV Protection Factor) 50+ material 

  • Tops/jerseys and trousers/skirts are loose-fitting, lightweight and well-ventilated made from densely woven fabric with long sleeves and a collar and leg covering

  • Where the competition uniform does not provide adequate sun protection, participants are reminded to apply SPF50+ broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen to all exposed skin and wear covering clothing whilst not on the field

Hats

  • Wide-brimmed, legionnaire or bucket hats are included as part of the on and off-field uniform (even if they can't be worn in actual play) and uniform/dress code for staff, officials and volunteers

  • Caps and visors do not provide adequate sun protection to the face, ears and neck and are not recommended for staff, officials and volunteers or for players off-field. As an interim, short-term measure for on-field play or training, where sun protective hats cannot be used, participants may wear caps in combination with sunscreen applied to parts of skin not covered by clothing 

Sunglasses 

  • Where practical, staff, officials, volunteers and participants are advised to wear close-fitting, wrap-around sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard 1067 (Sunglasses: Category 2, 3 or 4) and cover as much of the eye area as possible

Sunscreen

  • SPF50+ broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen is promoted and/or provided to staff, officials, volunteers and participants and, where possible, attendees/spectators 

  • Staff, officials, volunteers and participants are encouraged to apply sunscreen (the equivalent of one teaspoon per limb for adults) 20 minutes before training or playing and to reapply every two hours or immediately after sweating, swimming or towelling dry

  • Sunscreen is stored below 30°C and replaced once it is past the expiry date

  • The first aid kit includes a supply of SPF50+ broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen

Implementation

Daily sun protection times are forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology for the time-of-day UV levels are predicted to reach 3 or higher, based on location. At these levels, sun protection is recommended for all skin types. In Victoria, UV levels typically reach 3 or higher daily from mid-August to the end of April.

To assist with the implementation of this policy, club officials, coaches and participants are encouraged to access the daily local sun protection times via the SunSmart app.

The sun protection measures listed in this policy are used for all outdoor activities during the daily local sun protection times or when outside for extended periods. 

Leadership & Education

As part of OHS UV risk controls and role-modelling, officials, coaches and senior members:

  • Wear a sun-protective hat, covering clothing and sunglasses

  • Apply SPF50+ broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen

  • Seek shade whenever possible

  • Are supported to access resources, tools and learning to enhance their knowledge and capacity to promote sun protection across the club

  • SunSmart information is included in club guidelines/handbook which is accessible and promoted to all club members upon enrolment and throughout the season.

  • Club spectators/ supporters are encouraged and reminded to bring and use their own sun protection  

  • The times when sun protection is required (as determined by UV levels and daily local sun protection times) are communicated to participants and spectators

  • Ensure that all administrators and staff are fully aware of our Sun Smart Policy and are committed to implementing and improving it.

  • Ensure that all members and users are fully aware of our Sun Smart Policy and are encouraged to implement and improve it.

Status & Review

This policy will be reviewed annually to ensure it remains relevant to club operations and reflects both community expectations and legal requirements.


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