Scotty Cam takes up fight for skin cancer awareness 

By Jarrod
4 Min Read

Block host Scotty Cam is urging outdoor workers to play it safe in the sun after new research predicts two-thirds of Australians will develop skin cancer before 70.

The survey by global technology company SafetyCulture found that out of 1000 Aussie tradies, landscapers and road workers, almost half (45 per cent) admit to suffering sunburns at work in the past year. 

While repeated sunburns can significantly increase your chances of skin cancer, what really worries researchers is what lies at the heart of the problem – tradies don’t seem to take sun safety seriously. 

Of those surveyed, 64 per cent say they “simply forget” to use sun protection while on the job, while others say they would prioritise things like grabbing a coffee (33 per cent), hitting the gym (26 per cent) or sinking a schooner (23 per cent) instead of slip, slop, slapping. 

In 2024, Australia continues to lead the world for rates of melanoma, being the most common cancer for people aged between 20 and 39 and rates increasing for people over 60.

However, Tradie-turned-TV-icon and SafetyCulture ambassador Scott Cam is working to change perceptions around sun safety.

“Working outside can be a tough gig. You’re constantly juggling a range of situations and different environments, so it’s easy for something like sunscreen to fall to the bottom of the priority list,” said Scotty.

“At the same time, it’s just something you’ve got to do every day, or it will catch up with you in the long run.

“The Aussie sun has a sting to it pretty much all year round, so if you haven’t got a tube in the toolbox or a big sunscreen pump on-site, then now’s the perfect reminder to go out and grab one.

“You’re constantly juggling a range of situations and different environments, so it’s easy for something like sunscreen to fall to the bottom of the priority list.”

SafetyCulture also found that 50 per cent of workplaces already have a sun protection policy in place, but only a quarter of businesses enforce them.

Scott’s battle with skin cancer

Earlier this week, Scotty opened up about his own battle against skin cancer, diving into the toll the scorching Aussie sun takes on a builder.

Cam, who spent almost two decades on-site as a builder before his media career, revealed he has ‘spots’ all over his hands and arms because his hands were constantly exposed and now has permanent skin damage. 

“I’ve got spots all over my hands and forearms because I used to wear roll-up sleeves, so my hands were always exposed,” he told Nine.

“We’ve really got to get sunscreen on hands and arms and things like that, these days, everybody’s wearing the appropriate clothing but their hands and arms are still exposed.”

With SafeyCulture serving up free sunscreen and safety templates across the country as part of a new awareness initiative, Scott said he hopes to make sun safety a daily part of a tradie’s pre-work routine.

“People put cream on when they’re at the beach, that’s what the habit is, but they don’t put cream on when at work, that’s not the habit,” he shared.

“You’re worried about scaffolding rails, harnesses, safety, work boots, eye protection and ear protection, but the most important thing you’re exposed to every day, all day, is the sun.”

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By Jarrod
Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.