Running Your Business

How to Prioritize Sun Protection at Outdoor Company Retreats


  • Keeping employees hydrated is essential for their safety, so prepare to bring plenty of water to company retreats

  • Companies should provide sun protection during outdoor retreats, in the form of shady areas or sunscreen

  • In the instance someone does sustain a sunburn, have first-aid materials on hand and educate employees on the warning signs of skin cancer

Posted by June 21, 2019

As warmer weather approaches, company retreats are on the minds of employers and employees alike. Whether you’re planning a baseball game outing, an outdoor picnic or an all-day outdoor retreat that builds culture and encourages team bonding, sun protection should be a top priority.

Direct sunlight can be dangerous, both to our skin and overall health. But knowing which precautions to take during outdoor company events can help employees stay safe and get the most from their experience—without worrying about those intense rays.

Why Sun Protection Is Important

The dangers of too much sun exposure are numerous. Sunburn hurts, and excessive sun exposure can lead to dry, discolored, wrinkled or leathery-looking skin. Cancer is also a concern. Unprotected sun exposure increases the risk of skin cancer, the most common of all cancers. Taking precautions at company retreats to protect employees is crucial.

5 Sun Safety Tips

When planning and conducting outdoor company functions, you want your employees to focus on team building and having a good time—not worrying about sunburn. Following these basic sun safety tips can help you protect your employees during the main event.

1. Provide Plenty of Water

Being outdoors in the summer heat can lead to dehydration if water isn’t readily available for employees. Plan ahead to ensure you’re providing enough cold water for everybody during the retreat. Daily fluid requirements are at least 12 cups of water for women and 16 cups for men. This need can increase in hot and humid weather though.

2. Offer Sunscreen

Provide sunscreen at outdoor company functions to avoid sunburn crises. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 to achieve the best protection. Encourage employees to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, and every two hours after that to achieve optimal protection.

3. Seek Shady Spots

When planning outdoor company retreats, choose a venue that offers shady areas. Shade might come from trees, pergolas, covered shelters or large umbrellas. In order to stay safe from the heat of strong summer sun, employees will need an option to retreat to shady areas during these outdoor activities.

4. Limit Direct Sunlight Exposure

During company-wide outdoor functions, make sure direct sunlight exposure is limited—even if you provide sunscreen and water at these events. The sun’s rays are the strongest from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., so limit employees’ direct sunlight exposure during this period or plan activities in the shade during the middle of the day.

5. Bring Sunburn Treatments

Despite your best efforts to protect them, employees might still get sunburned. Have sunburn treatments on hand, and provide a moisturizer that contains aloe vera or soy to ease pain caused by these burns. Bring a first-aid kit with these items, as well as over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream and ibuprofen to reduce redness, swelling or discomfort. Avoid benzocaine products, as they might irritate skin or cause allergic reactions.

In addition to promoting sun safety outdoors, encourage employees to examine their skin—from head to toe—every month, and to see a dermatologist at least once a year for a professional skin exam. When detected early, skin cancer can often be treated. So empower employees to adopt healthy lifestyle habits and to take proper steps to ensure their skin is at its healthiest.

Check out the Dental Plan Navigator on United Concordia Dental’s website to learn about other ways to keep employees healthy.

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