Show Your Commitment to Safety
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of worker deaths and reported injuries in the United States has decreased by more than 60 percent since the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed in 1970. However, there is still room for improvement. Every year, more than 5,000 workers are killed on the job, and more than 3.6 million suffer a serious job-related injury or illness.
Next week, running from August 12th to the 18th, thousands of businesses nationwide will recognize the successes of workplace health and safety programs, as well as offer information and ideas on how to keep workers safe for Safe + Sound Week 2019. This can give your company a chance to start your safety program, improve an existing program or recognize an already successful one.
What is Safe + Sound?
Safe + Sound is a year-round campaign to encourage every workplace to establish a safety and health program. A successful program can:
- Prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and other incidents.
- Improve compliance with laws and regulations.
- Reduce costs including regulation violation fines and worker’s comp.
- Engage workers, which in turn increases productivity and enhances business operations.
While not every safety and health program is the same, every effective program has three common core elements:
- Management leadership
An effective program starts with a commitment from the top. It is up to management to exemplify the values and missions of the company. If management is genuinely committed to safety and these beliefs are supported by actions, this emphasizes the importance of safety for workers.
- Worker participation
Engaging workers in the program not only makes them more aware of potential hazards, but they become more invested in the program when they help find solutions. Since they are the ones that are out in the field, they have a better understanding of the hazards they face and can offer valuable insight on how to fix them.
- A way to find and fix hazards
At the core of every effective program is a proactive way of identifying and fixing hazards before they cause problems. Traditionally, hazards are recognized and fixed after an incident has already occurred. New technology is changing this process by allowing workers to easily report potential hazards that they see before it leads to an injury or other incident.
How to participate in Safe + Sound Week
Any company is welcome to participate in this event, and the process is very simple.
- Sign up through the OSHA website.
- Plan and promote events.
This can be an event just for your workers or a public event to engage the community. Some examples include:
- Webinars about complying to OSHA laws.
- Refresher training courses.
- A “lunch and learn” on an element of your safety program.
- A trivia session to test how well employees know safety and health practices.
- Receive recognition for your participation.
After your event(s) is completed, you can download a certificate and web badge to recognize your organization’s participation.
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By Leah Carson
August 7, 2019