Make the Most of OSHA’s Safe + Sound Week
This week is “Safe + Sound Week,” a nationwide awareness campaign created by OHSA. The comprehensive program, dedicated to keeping U.S. companies, employees and the public safe, is both important and enlightening.
Running from Monday through Sunday, this week focuses on raising awareness and understanding of the value of safety and health programs which affect everything from management leadership to worker participation to finding and fixing workplace hazards.
Why Should You Participate?
You know that workplace injuries and illnesses directly impact employers’ bottom line. But are you aware that in addition to social costs, U.S. employers pay almost $1 billion per week for workers’ compensation costs? This number includes direct costs like workers’ compensation payments, medical expenses and legal services payments—and indirect costs like training replacement employees, investigating accidents and deploying corrective measures, as well as lost productivity, damaged equipment and property repairs, and the additional costs that come with lower employee morale and absenteeism.
A safe business is a strong business.
How Do I Get Started?
Even though you’re part of the way through the week, you can still take advantage of this time to focus on safety and health habits.
On the OSHA website, you’ll find well-defined activities that make a real and lasting impact on your organization. Whether you want to host an employee-only event or include customers as well, there are a number of brief and productive activities that accomplish the week’s objectives. You’ll also earn a certificate and web badge that recognize your efforts and promote good adherence to these practices all year long.
OSHA identifies three core elements on which to focus: management leadership, worker participation and finding and fixing hazards.
Your dedication to safety and health should be clear at the highest levels of your organization. Start by establishing core values around safety and health and creating related goals. Then offer resources and make sure to always practice safe behaviors. Your actions at the top will drive the entire organization’s actions. Owners, executives, managers, supervisors and other leaders can make a big difference in their company’s cultures and systems. OSHA provides some real actionable checklists and smart ways to accomplish this.
Employees are the lifeblood of any business, and they must adhere to and be proponents of a safe and healthy work environment. To this end, they can set, implement, evaluate and enhance safety and health programs already in place, as well as offer recommendations where they feel there is a need for additional support. Employees should feel free to alert their superiors to perceived hazards as well. Since they’re the experts that work closely with the equipment and tools, they’re an invaluable resource for potential safety and health issues. OSHA provides some solid strategies to enhance and encourage worker safety and health practices too.
A systematic approach to finding and fixing hazards:
With a proactive, consistent effort, organizations can find and manage sources of potential injuries or illnesses. Whether you’re collecting and reviewing information about known or potential hazards in the workplace, determining the causes of hazards, or setting hazard controls, it’s essential to make this an ongoing program. OSHA recommends these tools to maintain the practice.
Safe + Sound = Smart
Whether you implement one or 100 of these ideas, you’ll be making your organization that much safer and smarter. After you’ve completed your events, you can download a certificate and web badge to recognize your organization and your workers. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to start today.