Step 4: Implement - Be Sunsible Program - Be Sunsible – Protecting Outdoor Workers

Implement and Continuously Improve Your Program

Change can create opportunities in your organization and is an important part of building a healthy workplace. Yet, change can also be difficult. You may face resistance or barriers when trying to move your organization to an improved state of readiness to implement ultraviolet radiation (UVR) policies or programs. Be Sunsible provides you with 8 tips to consider when catalyzing change around sun safety in your organization1, 4-6.

Improve your ability to create positive change with these 8 tips:

Create Urgency

For sun safety change to occur in your organizations, it is helpful if the whole company is on board.  Developing a sense of urgency around sun safety will help to spark the initial motivation to get things going!

For change to be successful, 75% of a company’s management team needs to buy into the change4.

Often, people feel they are not at risk of UVR exposure and, therefore, are less likely to change their personal practices. Presenting sun safety statistics isn't enough to inspire change. Remind your employees that the sun is an important health and safety hazard they can protect themselves against. Inform your staff of the risks that ultraviolet radiation (UVR) presents to their health to motivate them to participate in your sun safety program and practice sun safe behaviors2.

What you can do:

  • Examine potential threats and opportunities for sun safety in your organization.
  • Encourage your leadership to role model sun safe behaviors and participate in program activities.
  • Promote sun safety education at orientation for new and seasonal employees.
  • Promote sun safety dialogue, education and awareness throughout your organization in routine health and safety training.
  • Provide employees with information on how to regularly check their skin (moles) for changes.
  • Encourage employees to consult with their health care provider if they are concerned and provide work time for health care appointments.
  • Promote the use of sun protection measures off the job.

Build a Workplace Health Committee

To create change around sun safety, convincing people that change is necessary is an important step. Strong leadership from a workplace health committee can make your program a priority. 

Assemble a committee to action your sun safety plan. If you haven't created a workplace health committee, add this to your action plan. If you have already established a committee, try to partner with organizations outside of your workplace. These partnerships can help mobilize resources and offer additional supports to put your sun safety plan into action.

What you can do:

  • Identify leaders and stakeholders in your organization to be a part of the committee.
  • Ensure your committee represents different departments and levels.
  • Partner with outside organizations.

Discover what it takes to create an effective workplace health committee  »

Create a Vision and Strategy

A clear vision will help guide your workplace health committee. As well, it will emphasize the value your organization places on protecting the health of its employees.  At this point, you will have completed your action and evaluation plan which outlines your vision and strategy for sun safety. By communicating your vision and strategies for your sun safety program across the organization this can help to reduce resistance4.

What you can do:

  • Clearly outline and communicate the specific values underpinning your action plan.
  • Develop a statement that describes what the future of sun safety looks like in your workplace.
  • Create a strategy for communicating your action plan to employees and leadership.
  • Create an elevator pitch for why sun safety is so important to your organization.


A successful program has an effective communications strategy. As you implement your program, continuously communicate changes, successes, and new developments to your outdoor workers. Effective and ongoing communication can improve compliance, participation, awareness and excitement.

What you can do: 

  • Use bulletin boards to display sun safety messages.
  • Promote sun safety messages on the intranet and in company newsletters.
  • Provide brochures [PDF] / pamphlets [PDF] / fact sheets [PDF] on sun safety.
  • Send email and text messages about sun safety.
  • Put up a display with sun safety materials.
  • Celebrate National Sun Awareness Week (June).
  • Provide a forum for employees to openly and honestly discuss sun safety changes and anxieties4.
  • Ensure leadership and the workplace health committee lead by example5.

Get the word out on your sun safety program with these Be Sunsible posters and fact sheets. Find more tools, resources and ready-to-use materials at our Resources page.

Remove Barriers

As you roll out your program, reflect on any processes or practices interfering with the creation of a sun safe workplace. Is anyone resisting the changes? Are there any processes or structures getting in the way of implementing your sun safety action plan? Removing these barriers can empower leaders and employees to action sun safety and make positive changes in your organization.

What you can do:

  • Hire new employees receptive to sun safety procedures and accepting of change.
  • Review organizational structures, job descriptions, performance and compensation systems to ensure they support and reward sun safety.
  • Recognize employees who model sun safety and those who have made on the job changes to make themselves more sun safe.
  • Identify those resistant to sun safety changes and see how you can help them overcome barriers.
  • Act quickly to overcome barriers.

Accessing and using PPE is an example of a common barrier at the employee level.  To support your employees, purchase and provide them with PPE such as3:

  • Sunscreen (30 SPF or higher)
  • Lip balm with SPF
  • Long sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Wide-brimmed hats (more than 8 cm or 3 inches) with a back flap to cover neck
  • Sunglasses with UV protective lenses
  • UV bracelets

Create Quick Sun Safety Wins

Nothing motivates employees and organizations more than success4. Build momentum through quick wins so your staff and organization can realize the potential of your program and motivate changes in everyday work practices. 

What you can do:

  • Choose affordable early targets.
  • Reward the people who help you to meet these early targets.

These simple activities are just examples for how you can help your program gain acceptance.

  • Scheduling breaks in the shade
  • Posting the daily UV index
  • Provide water at work sites
  • Apply UVR film to windows of work vehicles

Ideally, you’ll plan for a quick win within a month of launching your program.

Build On Your Momentum

Don’t declare sun safety success too early. Real change and results take time, but you won't be able to tell without monitoring your progress. The information gathered with a progress tracker will help improve your program, respond to challenges and barriers and communicate your business case for sun safety to leadership.

What you can do:

  • Revisit your evaluation plan to analyze what went right and what needs improving.
  • Revisit your action plan objectives and continue building on their achievement.
  • Keep bringing in new ideas and updating your action and evaluation plan.
  • Identify sun safety change agents in your workplace health coalition.

Don’t forget to celebrate milestones along the way to mark your progress towards a goal.

Start monitoring your progress with a progress tracker »

Make Sun Safety Stick

The success of your program depends on its integration into the corporate culture and daily organizational practice. Leadership can continue to support sun safety changes by formally introducing corporate policies that address sun safety. As your program becomes part of your outdoor workers’ routines, you create the environment needed to improve sun safety protection.

What you can do:

  • Talk about the sun safety program, progress and successes at every opportunity.
  • Introduce the new corporate culture of sun safety when hiring and training new staff.
  • Recognize members of the workplace health committee and key employees who have been a part of the process from the beginning.
  • Create a plan to replace key sun safety leaders as they move on to ensure that achievements in sun safety are not forgotten.

The key to a successful program:

  • Work hard to create sustainable change in your organization.
  • Careful planning will improve chances of success.
  • Impatience or expectation of quick results will increase you likelihood of failure.

  1. Kotter International. (2015).The 8-Step Process for Leading Change. Retrieved from: (Accessed April 4th, 2016)
  2. Boston University of Public Health. (2016). The Health Belief Model. Retrieved from
  3. Center for Disease Control and Prevetion. (2015). Skin Cancer Prevention Fact Sheets. Retrieved from
  4. Mind Tools. (2016). Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model: Implementing Change Powerfully and Successfully. Retrieved from: (Accessed:  April 10, 2016)
  5. Educational Buisness Articles. (2016). Kotters 8-Step Process: Identifying Important Elements to Successful Organizational Change.  Retrieved from: (Accessed:  April 10, 2016)
  6. Heward, S., C. Hutchins & H. Keleher. (2007). Organizational Change – key to capacity building and effective health promotion.  Health Promotion International: V22, N2 (pp 170-178).  Retrieved from:
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