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The mining industry leads the way in providing the best PPE to protect its worker’s skin. Now it’s time to go one step further.

Despite a deluge of information on the dangers of skin cancer over the last few decades, Australia remains a global skin cancer hot spot, with mortality rates continuing to rise.

Health experts have long stated that early detection is key to preventing its proliferation, yet clearly not enough is being done to reverse the numbers. A big part of the problem comes from many Australians not regularly getting skin checks.

As the most common cancer affecting working age Australians between 15 and 39 years old, workplace health expert and founder of [email protected] Kristina Billings, believes that workplaces could have a huge role to play in the early prevention of skin cancer and potentially saving the lives of many employees.

“It’s time for businesses to lead the charge and set up skin testing at work. Mining companies organise and encourage on site flu injections annually for their workers, now it’s time to do the same for skin checks.”

When Kristina lost a close friend to cancer, it was the driving catalyst for her to launch [email protected], a workplace health services provider that conducts thousands of skin checks every year.

In 2019, [email protected] conducted 3,440 skin checks, detecting over 800 suspicious moles, lesions, sunspots and cancers. Of those, 133 (17%) turned out to be melanomas. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer however it is one of the most curable if it’s detected and treated early. Which luckily was the case for one employee who participated in the program and shared their story.

“I thought ‘okay, I’ll give it a go. They found a suspicious spot so I followed it up with a trip to the doctors shortly after – it turned out to be melanoma. I had the spot cut out as soon as possible. It’s scary to think that, if it weren’t for the program, I probably wouldn’t have gotten checked at all. I’m incredibly grateful.”

Kristina explained that when it comes to health, Australians are unfortunately somewhat nonchalant by nature.

“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.”

“This year, I’m calling on Australian CEOs and HR professionals to join our fight in saving lives – 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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