Small businesses urged to take lead in skin cancer testing

Global figures have ranked Australia on the top of having the most cases of skin cancer that have been recorded, something that has been a cause for concern among Australians. And, despite a deluge of information available on the dangers of skin cancer and reminders that early detection is key to preventing its proliferation, many Australians are not getting regular skin checks which is contributing to the rising number of those affected by this condition.

In order to address the issue, small businesses are being urged to lead the charge and set up skin testing at work, as many of them do when it comes to organising flu injections.

Workplace health expert, Kristina Billings, stressed that working-age Australians between 15 and 39 years old are the ones most affected by skin cancer.

“When you consider the amount of Australians affected by this each year, the workplace really is the best place to start. ”

Having lost a friend to cancer, Billings founded the program Health at Work, a workplace health services provider that conducts thousands of skin checks every year.

“When it comes to health, Australians are unfortunately somewhat nonchalant by nature,” Billings explained. “So, telling the public to go and get their yearly skin check through plain, repetitive marketing is not effective. It has become white noise.

“Conversely, the workplace can be a convenient place for employers to role model to their staff the importance of protecting yourself against sun dangers,” Billings added.

In 2019, Health at Work conducted 3440 skin checks, detecting over 800 suspicious moles, lesions, sunspots and cancers. Of those, 133 (17 per cent) turned out to be melanomas.

“This year, I’m calling on Australian CEOs and HR professionals to join our fight in saving lives,” Billings urged. Take the lead by implementing skin check programs. I want Australian workers to feel like getting their skin checked is no skin off their nose.”

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