Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide campaign that encourages commitment to safety and health programs in all workplaces throughout our nation. Over 2,408 individuals and business are participating in this year's program. Only 7 seconds will pass before someone is injured on the job and the total annual cost to our nation will be upwards of $150 billion. A systematic approach to safety and health programs can help prevent/reduce workplace injuries, comply with laws and regulations, increase overall productivity, reduce costs, and add value to their employees. Safe + Sound Week can also remind employees of an existing program and give an opportunity for individuals to voice their concerns and ideas with regards to workplace safety.
Most businesses will not officially participate in Safe + Sound Week, but there are still a number of actions that can be done to improve safety around the workplace.
“10 Ways to Get Your Program Started” (via Osha.gov)
- Establish safety and health as a core value. Tell your workers that making sure they finish the day and go home safely is the way you do business. Assure them that you will work with them to find and fix any hazards that could injure them or make them sick.
- Lead by example. Practice safe behaviors yourself and make safety part of your daily conversations with workers.
- Implement a reporting system. Develop and communicate a simple procedure for workers to report any injuries, illnesses, incidents (including near misses/close calls), hazards, or safety and health concerns without fear of retaliation. Include an option for reporting hazards or concerns anonymously.
- Provide training. Train workers on how to identify and control hazards in the workplace, as well as report injuries, illnesses, and near misses.
- Conduct inspections. Inspect the workplace with workers and ask them to identify any activity, piece of equipment, or materials that concern them. Use checklists to help identify problems.
- Collect hazard control ideas. Ask workers for ideas on improvements and follow up on their suggestions. Provide them time during work hours, if necessary, to research solutions.
- Implement hazard controls. Assign workers the task of choosing, implementing, and evaluating the solutions they come up with.
- Address emergencies. Identify foreseeable emergency scenarios and develop instructions on what to do in each case. Meet to discuss these procedures and post them in a visible location in the workplace.
- Seek input on workplace changes. Before making significant changes to the workplace, work organization, equipment, or materials, consult with workers to identify potential safety or health issues.
- Make improvements to the program. Set aside a regular time to discuss safety and health issues, with the goal of identifying ways to improve the program.
The health and safety programs and documents found on OSHA's website is a great place find information and guidance for implementing a safety and health program into the workplace.
National Safety Council Workplace Safety Resources: