What is safe and sound week?
A safe workplace is a sound business. Every August a nationwide event is organized by OSHA to bring attention to workplace safety and highlight successful workplace safety programs. Participation is voluntary and it’s easy to sign up.
How can I create a Safety and Health Program?
Every workplace is unique and requires special consideration for the dangers therein. There are different activities that can help raise important questions about safety and get the conversation started. Some of the ideas provided by OSHA include:
- Create a board for workers to display suggestions to help find and fix workplace hazards
- Offer a training on safety and health in your workplace
- Recognize a safety milestone and employee contributions with a party
- Host an informal “lunch and learn” on an element of your safety and health program
- Hold a demonstration on proper use of safety equipment
- Have employees sign a banner to commemorate a new safety and health goal
- Offer opportunities for employees to share “what safety means to me” in the workplace.
- Challenge your supply chain to celebrate Safe + Sound Week with you to help build safety culture and improve safety.
- Host a trivia session on how well employees know safety and health practices
- Offer “on the spot” recognition of employee participation.
- Complete the “Take 3 in 30” challenge for management leadership.
According to OSHA’s website, there is a 10-step process for cultivating a safety program, which is outlined below:
- 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 concerns 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. Set aside a regular time to discuss safety and health issues, with the goal of identifying ways to improve the program.
I already have a Safety and Health Program… How can I participate in Safe and Sound Week?
Taking a moment to review the past year of your Safety and Health Program can be beneficial to both management and employees. Start a dialogue on the positive improvements in the workplace and if the safety goals set have been achieved. At the end of the day, rewarding employees for their adherence to the Safety and Health Program goals will help maintain future workplace safety.
To learn more about Safe and Sound Week please visit OSHA’s website.