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Legislation

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Read the full text of several important state and national laws that relate to sun safety in the workplace.

Surgeon General's call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer
Laws and policies are important steps toward making sun safety a priority for people. The US Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer is not actual legislation, but it did make history in July of 2014. It was the first time for sun safety to be highlighted in national media as a serious public health issue. The Call to Action, along with the Consumer Report and Quick Facts, detail five goals that everyone can work on to prevent skin cancer.

Liability for Employers of State Employed Lifeguards
California Labor Code, Section 3212.11

Summary: This law provides that lifeguards who develop skin cancer during their period of employment by certain local agencies and the Department of Parks and Recreation, are eligible for workers’ compensation.

State of New York
State of New York Labor Law 218

Summary: An Act to amend the labor law, in relation to sun safety education and equipment for certain state employees.

Concurrent Resolution No. 25: Relative to safety in employment
California State Senate

Summary: This resolution urges employers to ensure that their injury prevention programs and other systems for identifying and correcting workplace hazards consider the effects of ultraviolet radiation and ensure that skin cancer prevention policies for outdoor workers are put into operation.

Recognizing the importance of sun safety, and for other purposes
House Resolution 169

Summary: The U.S. House of Representatives recognizes the importance of sun safety and the need for sun safety education programs.


Liability for employers of State employed Lifeguards

BILL NUMBER: AB 663 CHAPTERED
BILL TEXT

CHAPTER 846
FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE OCTOBER 13, 2001
APPROVED BY GOVERNOR OCTOBER 12, 2001
PASSED THE SENATE SEPTEMBER 12, 2001
PASSED THE ASSEMBLY SEPTEMBER 12, 2001
AMENDED IN SENATE AUGUST 31, 2001
AMENDED IN SENATE JULY 2, 2001
AMENDED IN SENATE JUNE 20, 2001
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY MAY 31, 2001
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 24, 2001
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 16, 2001
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY MARCH 26, 2001

INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Vargas
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Calderon, Chavez, Frommer, Kehoe, La Suer, Strom-Martin, Washington, Wayne, and Zettel)
(Coauthors: Senators Alpert and Burton)

FEBRUARY 22, 2001

An act to add Section 3212.11 to the Labor Code, relating to workers' compensation.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST

AB 663, Vargas. Workers' compensation: lifeguards.
Existing law provides that an injury of an employee arising out of and in the course of employment is generally compensable through the workers' compensation system. Existing law provides that, in the case of certain law enforcement officers and firefighters, the term "injury" includes heart trouble, hernia, pneumonia, and other injuries and diseases.
This bill would provide, with respect to active lifeguards employed, for more than 3 consecutive months in a calendar year, by certain local agencies and the Department of Parks and Recreation, that the term "injury" includes skin cancer that develops or
manifests itself during the period of the lifeguard's employment.
This bill would further create a rebuttable presumption that the above injury arises out of and in the course of the lifeguard's employment if it develops or manifests during the period of the employment.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Section 3212.11 is added to the Labor Code, to read:
3212.11. This section applies to both of the following: (a) active lifeguards employed by a city, county, city and county, district, or other public or municipal corporation or political subdivision, and (b) active state lifeguards employed by the Department of Parks and Recreation. The term "injury," as used in this division, includes skin cancer that develops or manifests itself during the period of the lifeguard's employment. The compensation awarded for that injury shall include full hospital, surgical, and medical treatment, disability indemnity, and death benefits, as provided by the provisions of this division.
Skin cancer so developing or manifesting itself shall be presumed to arise out of and in the course of the employment. This presumption is disputable and may be controverted by other evidence, but unless so controverted, the appeals board shall find in accordance with it. This presumption shall be extended to a lifeguard following termination of service for a period of three calendar months for each full year of the requisite service, but not to exceed 60 months in any circumstance, commencing with the last date actually worked in the specified capacity.
Skin cancer so developing or manifesting itself in these cases shall not be attributed to any disease existing prior to that development or manifestation.
This section shall only apply to lifeguards employed for more than three consecutive months in a calendar year.

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State of New York Labor Law 218

6899
2005-2006 Regular Sessions
IN ASSEMBLY
March 30, 2005

Introduced by M. of A. WEISENBERG -- read once and referred to the Committee on Labor AN ACT to amend the labor law, in relation to sun safety education and equipment for certain state employees
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:

1) Section 1. The labor law is amended by adding a new section 218-a to
2) read as follows:
3) § 218-a. Sun safety education and equipment for state employees. 1.
4) Any state employee who spends more than a total of five hours per week
5) outdoors shall be required to attend sun safety education classes. The
6) classes shall be provided by the department, in consultation with the
7) commissioner of education, and shall inform employees about (a) the
8) potential dangers of diseases caused by over-exposure of the sun, such
9) as skin cancer, (b) the existence of available protections and their
10) proper uses, and (c) any other information necessary to afford an
11) employee his or her best opportunity to protect themselves from the sun.
12) 2. An employer of state employees shall ensure that any necessary
13) equipment is available to each employee for his or her use during their
14) employment, at no cost to the employee.
15) 3. The commissioner, in consultation with the commissioner of educa-
16) tion, shall establish rules and regulations regarding what equipment is
17) necessary for the safety of state employees who are subject to the
18) provisions of this section.
19) § 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
20) have become a law, provided, however, that effective immediately, the
21) commissioner of labor may promulgate any rule or regulation necessitated
22) pursuant to subdivision 3 of section 218-a of the labor law as added by
23) section one of this act.

EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09976-01-5

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Concurrent Resolution No. 25: Relative to safety in employment
Callifornia State Senate

BILL NUMBER: SCR 25 INTRODUCED
BILL TEXT

INTRODUCED BY Senator Speier
FEBRUARY 22, 2005

Relative to safety in employment.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST

SCR 25, as introduced, Speier. Employer safety. This measure would urge employers to ensure that their injury prevention programs and other systems for identifying and correcting workplace hazards, consider the effects of ultraviolet radiation and implement skin cancer prevention policies to protect outdoor workers.

The measure would also call upon the state, by no later than July 2006, to utilize existing means of communication with employers to advise employers of the importance of sun safety and skin cancer protections in the workplace.
Fiscal committee: yes.

WHEREAS, The chief cause of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet rays (UV) from natural sunlight and artificial sources and UV rays in sunlight cause 90 percent of all skin cancer; and

WHEREAS, According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States; and

WHEREAS, One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in his or her lifetime and one American every hour dies from the disease; and

WHEREAS, Unprotected exposure to sunlight over time is pathologic in some cases, as demonstrated by reputable sources including the California Department of Health Services, the United States Army Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Medicine, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the United States National Institutes of Health, the United States Occupational Health and Safety Administration, and the World Health Organization; and

WHEREAS, During April 2000, the United States Department of Health and Human Services in its Ninth Report on Carcinogens, classified solar radiation as a "known human carcinogen" or cancer-causing agent; and

WHEREAS, Building on this declaration, the federal Office of Safety and Health Administration, in July 2000, released formal sun-safety protection guidelines for outdoor workers, which are summarized in a pocket card entitled, "Projecting Yourself Against Harmful Sunlight"; and

WHEREAS, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the California Department of Health Services Skin Cancer Prevention Program have published guidelines for sun safety and skin cancer prevention for outdoor workers; and

WHEREAS, The Labor Code requires employers to establish an effective system to identify and correct unsafe and unhealthy work practices; and

WHEREAS, According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration created in the United States Department of Labor, "unprotected employees working in sunlight risk exposure to UV radiation, which can cause eye damage, premature aging of the skin, and skin cancers, such as melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, which accounts for more than seventy-five percent (75%) of the deaths due to skin cancer"; and

WHEREAS, Skin cancer is highly preventable when specific sun-safety behaviors such as the use of wide-brimmed hates, UV-protective sunglasses, long clothing, and sunscreen are adopted, supplemented by environmental supports such as the provision of shade and the adoption and implementation of sun-protection guidelines and policies; and

WHEREAS, Businesses, organizations, and individuals need to understand why and how to guard against unprotected exposure to sunlight; and

WHEREAS, Safety and health precautions add value to business, the workplace, and human life;

Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That employers are urged to ensure that their injury prevention programs and other systems for identifying and correcting workplace hazards consider the pathologic effects of UV radiation and ensure, as appropriate, that skin cancer prevention policies for outdoor workers are put into operation;

And be it further Resolved, That, by no later than July 2006, the state, utilizing existing means of communication with employers on workplace safety issues, shall advise employers of the importance of sun safety and skin cancer protections within workplace settings.

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Recognizing the importance of sun safety, and for other purposes
House Resolution 169:

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
MARCH 17, 2005
Mr. BILIRAKIS (for himself and Ms. ESHOO) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce

JUNE 7, 2005
Additional sponsors: Mr. BOUCHER, Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas, Mrs. BONO,
and Mr. HINCHEY

JUNE 7, 2005

RESOLUTION
Recognizing the importance of sun safety, and for other purposes.

Whereas Americans of all ages cherish the pleasures of out-door activities, and too few recognize that overexposure to the sun and its ultraviolet radiation, classified by the Department of Health and Human Services as a known carcinogen, is the leading cause of skin cancer;

Whereas it is critically important to be safe in the sun be- cause skin cancer is the fastest growing cancer in our country today, affecting 1 in 5 Americans during their lifetimes and killing 1 person every hour of every day;

Whereas more than 1,000,000 new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year, accounting for nearly half of all new cases of cancer and exceeding the incidence of breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer combined;

Whereas most people receive approximately 80 percent of their lifetime sun exposure by age 18, setting the stage for skin cancer later in life;

Whereas skin cancer is highly preventable by taking simple precautions when engaged in outdoor activities;

Whereas research demonstrates that practicing good sun safety has the potential to significantly reduce the risk of skin cancer;

Whereas the Sun Safety Alliance and its members have dedi- cated themselves to promoting sun safety, eliminating skin cancer from excessive sun exposure, and encouraging sun protection practices, especially among children; and

Whereas the Sun Safety Alliance has designated the week of June 5, 2005, to June 11, 2005, as National Sun Safety Week:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, that the House of Representatives-

  1. recognizes the importance of sun safety;
  2. recognizes the need for school-based sun safety education programs;
  3. encourages all Americans to protect themselves and their children from the dangers of excessive sun exposure;
  4. congratulates the Sun Safety Alliance for its efforts to promote sun safety and prevent skin cancer; and
  5. supports the goals and ideas of National Sun Safety Week.

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