Improving workplace safety is beneficial in more ways than one.
North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Awareness Week, May 4 – 10, rallies a strong commitment to provide a healthy and safe environment for all workers. Beyond awareness, Safety and Health Awareness Week is about improving attitudes toward workplace safety, increasing employees’ understanding of the role they play and building a safety-minded culture.
A recent study from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago shows that 85 percent of workers prioritize workplace safety over other labor standards, including maternity leave, minimum wage, overtime pay and paid sick days. Employers, too, recognize the importance of workplace safety and the impact that it can have on productivity and employee morale.
Although businesses have taken steps to improve workplace safety, the most recent Occupational Injuries and Illnesses survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported more than 3 million non-fatal workplace incidents among private-industry jobs and nearly 800,000 additional incidents among state and local government jobs in 2012.
Make Safety a Priority at Your Workplace
- Make sure employees know how to report health and safety concerns and hazards
- Regularly update and post your workplace emergency response plan
- Conduct monthly safety drills with your team
- Host a Safety and Health Awareness Week event, such as a safety fair, special staff meeting or celebration to acknowledge a strong safety record. And please share any safety activities and tips with ACHD or post your Safety and Health Awareness Week events on the NAOSH website.
For more ideas, NAOSH offers many resources, such as safety checklists and Safety and Health Awareness Week posters and press materials. You can also get tips and suggestions for hosting safety events at your workplace.
In the end, working to prevent injuries and illnesses on the job helps to protect valued employees and costs much less than correcting them after an incident. Take advantage of Safety and Health Awareness Week and make safety an ongoing habit at work.