Victorians forget their skin cancer check

Almost 90 per cent of Victorians have not had a skin check in the last 12 months, new figures show

More than half of Victorians reckon they're sun smart, but new research shows almost nine in 10 haven't had a skin check in the past year.

And two out of every five Victorians have never had their bodies checked for potential skin cancers, despite 1725 Australians dying from melanomas in 2019.

Research commissioned by life insurer TAL surveyed people aged between 18 and 65 years and found although 70 per cent said they would encourage a loved one to get a skin check, 89 per cent of them had not had one in the past 12 months.

In fact, 41 per cent of the Victorians surveyed claimed they had never had a professional skin check, the report released on Tuesday said.

Cancer Australia estimated that more than 15,000 new cases of melanoma skin cancer were diagnosed in 2019.

A separate report from Safe Work Australia found just eight per cent of workers who spend four or more hours a day outside were using proper sun protection.

The Cancer Council Australia's national skin cancer committee chair Heather Walker said workers can underestimate how bad the sun is for them.

"Many construction workers may not think of UV as a carcinogen when compared to the likes of tobacco smoke, silica and diesel fumes," she said on Tuesday.

"It's really important to remember that just because you can't see, smell or feel UV radiation, (it) doesn't mean it isn't dangerous."

Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, with outdoor workers at much higher risk of contracting the disease than those working indoors.

Around 200 melanomas and 34,000 non-melanoma skin cancers each year can be attributed to outdoor work.