Sun Protection

Issues such as buildings and grounds, and essential services maintenance.

Please scroll to the bottom of the page for contacts and links

Do you need to comply?

Yes, under the duty of care obligation that a school has to its students and under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (VIC).

Conditions of compliance

As part of their duty of care, schools may choose to develop a sun protection policy to minimise excessive ultraviolet radiation (UV) exposure to students. Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (VIC), schools also have a duty of care to provide all employees with working environments that do not endanger their health and safety.

If you have to comply, what do you have to do?

Schools may choose to develop and implement a sun protection policy in consultation with staff, students and parents. Things to consider when drafting a policy:

  • the time of year the sun protection policy will apply – UV Index reaches high levels between September and May
  • the time of day the sun protection policy will apply – high levels of UV exposure occur between 10.00 am and 3.00 pm during daylight saving time
  • shade cover in school grounds – ensure that there are enough shaded areas for students during the summer months, such as shade sails
  • school uniform – ensure that students wear appropriate clothing during summer
  • school activities and excursions – activities such as swimming or an excursion to the snow may expose students and staff to higher levels of UV radiation.

Schools could also choose to promote sun protection behaviour by encouraging students and staff members to wear hats, sunscreen and appropriate clothing.

What are the consequences if you don’t comply?

You could be in breach of your duty of care obligations as well as the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (VIC).

Who will help you?

Independent Schools Victoria contact:

Peter Roberts
Director, Schools Services
Ph. 03 9825 7211

Kieren Noonan
School Services Advisor
Ph. 03 9825 7275

Links and Resources

External linkVic DET: Safety Guidelines for Education Outdoors

External linkSunSmart: Early Childhood and Primary Schools

External linkSunSmart: SunSmart Sample Policies

External linkWorkSafe Victoria: Collapse of Fabric Shade Sail Support Structures