SunSmart councils and workplaces

Councils and workplaces play an important role in the health and safety of their communities and workers.


Many council workers spend time outside at work. Minimising exposure to UV radiation should be part of your council’s workplace health and safety policies.  Councils also run and support many outdoor events over the daylight saving months.  Quality shade in outdoor areas can reduce UV exposure by up to 75% when used with the other four SunSmart steps

HPA (formerly called the Health Sponsorship Council) has a document SunSmart Councils – A Guide for Territorial Local Authorities and Health Promoters. Although it is an older publication, it continues to provide ideas to help councils manage the hazard from UV radiation. 

An example from Australia

Municipal Association of Victoria has been active in encouraging effective shade planning in their region.

An example from Canada

Toronto city has a mandate to ensure shade is considered in planning and designing all city owned and operated outdoor venues, especially where children are most exposed during the summer.

Toronto’s Shade Guidelines support their policy.

View a video summarising how Toronto developed their Shade Policy.


Around 15% of New Zealanders work outside.

Businesses should manage UV exposure from the sun as a workplace hazard for workers who spend some, or all, of their working day outdoors.

It’s also good practice to encourage workers to be SunSmart when they head outside to take a break, walk to a meeting, or get exercise.

Read more about Worksafe and your primary duty of care.

Te Hiringa Hauora’s Wellplace website has some great ideas for being SunSmart in the workplace.

The Cancer Society also has information on SunSmart workplaces.

Cancer Council Victoria also has useful workplace information.