When you work for yourself, you probably don’t have to think too much about other people’s behaviour, unless they are putting you at risk on site. But have your ever thought that you might actually influence how they act, particularly the younger guys on site.

If they respect or admire you, apprentices and other tradies are likely to mimic your behaviour at work, and if you choose to work without a shirt or hat, and don’t seem to use sun protection at all, others will think this behaviour is okay.

But it’s not. The fact is that skin cancer kills over 2,000 people in Australia each year, and outdoor workers are at greater risk because they receive between 5 to 10 times the exposure to UV than indoor workers.  And this is why it is so important to protect yourself from UV overexposure when working outdoors by using good sun protection measures.

And it’s not just at work either. If you have kids, nieces or nephews, or even spend time around your friends kids and you don’t use sun protection, you are telling them with your behaviour that it is okay to do this.  You may not even realise you are doing this, but the way that human behaviour works is that we are much more likely to follow what someone does rather than just listen to them.  So the old saying of “do what I say, not what I do” could not be more wrong.  People are going to do exactly what you do, regardless of what you say, so it is important that you do the right thing.

If you are not going to use sun protection to reduce your risk of getting skin cancer, at least do it so that you are not being a bad influence on those around you. Don’t be the person who teaches others bad habits that lead to someone else getting skin cancer down the track.