Using Technology to Scale-Up an Occupational Sun Protection Policy Program (SSW-T)


Klein Buendel


Active, not recruiting


Skin Cancer


Behavioral: Sun Safe Workplaces -In Person
Behavioral: Sun Safe Workplaces - Technology

Study type


Funder types



R01CA210259 (U.S. NIH Grant/Contract)

Details and patient eligibility


Comprehensive approaches that combine sun protection policy and education for outdoor workers can reduce their risk for skin cancer by reducing their exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation on the job. To effectively disseminate the investigators' evidence-based sun protection policy and education intervention, Sun Safe Workplaces, a balance of effectiveness and cost of scale-up methods is required. The investigators propose to translate the intervention using a technology-based delivery method and compare the cost effectiveness of the original intervention and the intervention delivered by technology in a study that models national distribution strategies to public safety and public works sectors.

Full description

A key goal in the Affordable Care Act is building a national culture of prevention through workplace health and safety initiatives. To achieve this goal, methods for scaling up evidence-based programs from research to wide-scale dissemination are needed to help balance effectiveness and cost. In many cases, there are pressures to reduce scale-up costs but at the expense of lower program implementation and effectiveness. A scale-up method that sacrifices effectiveness but reduces costs and reaches a larger number of employers may be acceptable. The investigators will model the effectiveness and cost trade-off, along with the extent and representativeness of reach, when scaling up the evidence-based occupational sun protection intervention, Sun Safe Workplaces (SSW), for national distribution. The intervention, which relies on personal contact with managers and in-person employee training (SSW-IP), created large improvements in comprehensive workplace sun safety (i.e., policy adoption and employee education) in a randomized controlled trial. The investigators will compare the existing in-person program delivery methods (SSW-IP) to a lower-cost dissemination method that utilizes Internet technology (SSW-T), i.e., virtual meetings, social networking, online training, and program materials. The aims of the research are to: 1) estimate the program reach (number and representativeness) and implementation rates (i.e., adoption of policies and delivery of education on occupational sun protection) achieved by the SSW-IP and SSW-T in a model of national distribution to public safety and public works industries; 2) estimate the costs associated with the SSW-IP and SSW-T (i.e., intervention costs and induced employer costs) and compare the estimated program benefits (i.e., policy and education) to cost; and 3) estimate the effect and cost-effectiveness of SSW-IP and SSW-T in secondary outcomes of a) changes in workplace environments and procedures for sun safety and b) workers' sun safety practices. In a 5-year project, SSW-T will be created by redesigning the very effective SSW-IP methods to use the latest web conferencing, social networking, and online training technology for dissemination. The implementation rates (defined as policy adoption and education delivery) and costs associated with SSW-IP (n=50 employers) and SSW-T (n=150 employers) will be modeled in a randomized two-group pretest-posttest design, enrolling a national sample of 200 employers (i.e., firefighting departments and state departments of transportation). Unlike traditional randomized trials, the primary analysis will be of cost effectiveness to test the hypothesis that SSW-T can be delivered cost-effectively to an expanded group of worksites producing a lower implementation rate than SSW-IP but at substantially lower cost. Secondary analyses will compare the two scale-up strategies on implementation rate, differences in rate by employer groups (e.g., size and region), changes to workplace environment/procedures, and employee sun safety practices. The findings will have high impact by helping public health practitioners select the best strategy for scaling up evidence-based workplace health and safety programs to achieve this ACA goal.


2,644 patients




18+ years old


Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Fire Departments and State DOTs in the United States, agreeing to participate, providing written policies at pretest and having at least 6 managers and 50 workers complete the pretest.
  • Being a senior manager of a fire department or state DOT located in the United States. Criteria include a) being in a senior management position; b) responsible for work-site safety/health policy and education; c) consenting to participate, and d) completing the pretest. This includes city/county managers, human resources directors, risk managers, and managers of facilities, fire, roads and transportation departments
  • Being an employee of a fire department or state DOT located in the United States. Criteria includes a) being employed part/full-time at the employer, b) working at least part of daytime hours outdoors, c) consenting to participate, and d) completing the pretest survey.

Exclusion criteria

Prior participation in the Sun Safe Workplaces program

Trial design

2,644 participants in 2 patient groups

Sun Safe Workplaces - Technology (SSW-T)
Experimental group
Program promoting the adoption of sun protection policies by fire departments and state Departments of Transportation that is delivered via a range of technology systems including web-enabled visits with senior managers, online training of outdoor workers, and online access to collateral materials (e.g., brochures, posters, tip cards).
Behavioral: Sun Safe Workplaces - Technology
Sun Safe Workplaces - In Person (SSW-IP)
Active Comparator group
Program promoting the adoption of sun protection policies by fire departments and state Departments of Transportation that is delivered via personal visits with senior managers and in person training of outdoor workers by research staff over two years. Collateral materials (e.g., brochures, posters, tip cards) will be provided to worksites.
Behavioral: Sun Safe Workplaces -In Person

Trial contacts and locations



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