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Home | Blog | Skin cancer and your right to workers compensation

Work related skin cancer

Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, affecting at least one in every two people in their lifetime and around 5,000 Australians are diagnosed with a work- related cancer each year. Skin cancer is caused by over exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR), which is carcinogenic to humans of all skin types. Unfortunately, the damage from UVR is permanent and increases with increasing amounts of exposure to the sun.

Skin cancer can be an employment related disease resulting from long term exposure to the sun. It is important for employees who spend any amount of time working out in the sun to be aware of the risk of skin cancer. Those who work outdoors working in the sun, have a higher than average risk of skin cancer. Some occupations at risk include builders; construction workers; lifeguards; farmers; horticulturalists; landscapers; gardeners; port and harbour workers and road workers.

Under Australian occupational health and safety legislation, employers are obliged to implement measures to protect employees from exposure to the sun that can lead to skin cancer.

If you have been diagnosed as suffering from skin cancer and believe your work has caused or contributed to your diagnosis, you may be eligible to make a claim for workers compensation. To be eligible your employment must have been the ‘main contributing factor’ to your diagnosis. Your employment does not need to be the sole cause of your diagnosis to be eligible.

If your skin cancer is accepted to be work related, you may be entitled to receive reimbursement of your medical and treatment expenses, weekly wage payments if you are off work as a result and lump sum compensation for the permanent skin damage caused. If sadly a person dies from work related skin cancer, the family may be entitled to a lump sum death benefit, weekly wage payments and reimbursement of funeral expenses.

If you believe you or a loved one have work-related skin cancer, we encourage you to contact our office to seek specialist legal advice on a “No Win-No Fee” basis. Our team of workers compensation lawyers can assist you in initiating a claim or providing you advice on your workers compensation entitlements. For further information please contact us on 13 43 63 today.

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