In the United States, June is designated as National Safety Month. It is an annual initiative organized by the National Safety Council to raise awareness about workplace safety and injury, and the importance of occupational health and safety in our daily lives. This month-long event aims to prevent workplace injuries and deaths by promoting occupational safety, measures and best practices to protect workers safer working environment.
Stay Safe at Work and Home
Throughout the month of June, different themes are highlighted each week to address various safety critical issues. The themes for 2023 are as follows:
Week 1: Emergency preparedness is the process of preparing for and responding to emergencies fall hazards, risks or disasters. Being prepared for an emergency can make a significant difference in how you and your loved ones fare during a crisis. Below are some tips for emergency preparedness:
Make an emergency plan: Create an emergency plan for your family that includes a designated meeting place, emergency contact information, and escape routes. Practice your plan with your family regularly.
Build an emergency kit: Assemble an emergency kit that includes essential items such as food, water, first aid supplies, and important documents.
Stay informed: Stay informed about potential emergencies and disasters in your area. Sign up for emergency alerts from your local government and monitor local news and weather reports.
Have a backup power source: If you lose power during an emergency, having a backup power source such as a generator or battery-operated lights can be extremely helpful.
Know how to shut off utilities: In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary to shut off utilities such as gas, electricity, and water. Make sure you and your family know how to do this safely.
Week 2: Slips, falls, trips are common causes of injuries in both the workplace and at home. Below are some tips for preventing slips falls, trips, and falls:
Housekeeping: Good housekeeping is the first and the most important (fundamental) level of preventing falls due to slips and trips.
Keep walkways clear: Keep walking surfaces clean and free of obstacles and debris. Check that all cords, cables, and wires are securely fastened and are not tripping hazards.
Keep walkways and floors clean and dry: Use floor mats or non-slip coatings to prevent slips .
Clean up spills: Clean up any spills or wet floor walking surface immediately. Use warning signs to alert others of wet or slippery areas until they can be cleaned.
Wear proper footwear: Wear shoes with good traction and slip-resistant soles. Avoid wearing high heels or shoes with smooth soles on slippery surfaces.
Use handrails: Use handrails when walking up or down stairs or inclines. Ensure that handrails are sturdy and well-maintained.
Use proper lighting: Ensure that all areas are well-lit, especially stairwells and walkways. Replace burned-out bulbs and repair any faulty lighting fixtures promptly.
Train employees: If you are a business owner, ensure that employees are trained in slip, trip, and fall prevention. Encourage them to report any potential hazards immediately.
Week 3: Heat-related illness can be a serious health risk, particularly during hot weather or strenuous physical activity. Here are some tips for preventing heat-related injuries and illnesses:
Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water and other fluids to stay hydrated, particularly during hot weather or when engaged in physical activity.
Take breaks: Take frequent breaks if you are working or exercising in the heat. Rest in a cool or shaded area and avoid overexertion.
Wear appropriate clothing: Wear warm, lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that allows your skin to breathe. Dark colors absorb heat and can make you feel hotter.
Stay indoors during peak heat hours: Avoid being outside during the hottest parts of the day, typically from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Use sunscreen: Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays by wearing sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
Know the symptoms: Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of heat-related illness, including dizziness, nausea, headaches, and muscle cramps. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Week 4: Hazard recognition in the workplace is an important part of the safety program and creating a safe work environment for workers. Here are some specific tips for recognizing other hazards in the workplace:
Conduct regular inspections: Conduct regular inspections of the workplace to identify potential hazards, such as loose floorboards, frayed electrical cords, or implementing safety equipment and procedure.
Observe employees: Observe employees as they work to identify any unsafe behaviors or practices. For example, employees may be using tools improperly or not wearing proper safety gear.
Review incident reports: Review incident reports to identify trends or common hazards that are causing injuries or accidents.
Seek input from employees: Ask employees for their input on identifying hazards in the workplace. They may have noticed potential hazards that management has overlooked.
Stay up to date on regulations: Stay up to date on OSHA regulations and industry best practices for hazard recognition and safety protocols.
How to Celebrate National Safety Month?
Spread Awareness: Share information about National Safety Month on social media platforms and other communication channels. Encourage people to take safety seriously and follow safe practices at home, work, and other places.
Organize Safety Workshops: Conduct safety workshops in your workplace, school, or community to educate people on various safety topics. Invite experts to speak on topics such as fire safety, first aid, and emergency preparedness.
Conduct Safety Audits: Conduct safety audits at your workplace or home to identify potential hazards and take corrective action. This can include checking for proper ventilation, making sure emergency exits are accessible, adequate lighting and checking for any electrical or fire hazards.
Join us in our commitment to safety by taking the SafeAtWork pledge!
Create safety contests or challenges that encourage people to practice safe behaviors. For example, you can create a safety slogan contest, a safety poster contest, or a safety video contest.
Support safety charities: Support charities that work towards promoting safety and preventing accidents. You can donate to organizations that focus on fire safety, road safety, workplace safety, or any other safety-related cause.
People are encouraged to participate in National Safety Month by following all safety standards, rules, and guidelines, attending safety training sessions, using safety plans, and spreading awareness about safety in their communities. It is important to remember that safety should be a top priority every day, not just during National Safety Month. Let us all work together to further improve safety around the world for everyone.
The Occupational Safety and Health Standards 1910 Subpart D (Walking-Working Surfaces) provides general standards for walking-working surfaces. These surfaces include passageways, storage rooms, service rooms, working areas, and more.
The 1910.22 Regulations outline several points for safe working surfaces as follows:
Keep workroom floors clean, orderly, and dry.
Maintain a functional drainage system if working on wet surfaces.
Keep surfaces free of hazards such as sharp objects, loose boards, corrosions, leaks, spills, snow, and ice.
Ensure that the working surface can support the maximum intended load.
Provide safe means of entering and exiting from walking surfaces.
Inspect the working surface to keep it in good condition.
Repair hazardous floors as soon as possible.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has established regulations and guidelines for fall protection in the workplace to help ensure the safety of workers who may be exposed to fall hazards.
Provide working conditions that are free of known dangers.
Keep floors in work areas in a clean and, so far as possible, a dry condition.
Select and provide required personal protective equipment at no cost to workers.
Train workers about job hazards in a language that they can understand.
Frequently Asked About Prevent Workplace Slips trips and falls
Q: Why is June Safety Month?
A: The National Safety Council (NSC) declared June as National Safety Month in the United States in 1996.
Q: What is hazard recognition in the workplace?
A: Hazard recognition is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of employees and visitors and to prevent accidents, injuries, or illnesses in the workplace. All employees must be trained on hazard recognition and reporting so that they can help identify and mitigate hazards in their work environment.
Q: What are slip trips and falls?
A: You can slip when you lose your footing; you can trip when you catch your foot on or in something; and you can fall when you come down suddenly. Spills, ice, snow, rain, loose mats, rugs, and stepladders are some of the common causes of slips, trips, and falls.