Deck the halls with safety posters and leave out a plate of saltines for the Occupational Health and Safety Administration inspector, because this week is Safe + Sound Week!
What is Safe + Sound Week?
OSHA describes it as “a nationwide event held each August that recognizes the successes of workplace health and safety programs and offers information and ideas on how to keep America’s workers safe.” Think of it as Christmas season in the safety industry. But with 7 days rather than 12. And instead of warm mugs of spiced cider, umm… correctly labeled chemical containers?
On second thought, scratch the Christmas comparison.
Point is, this week is a great time to raise awareness about workplace health and safety—and the perfect opportunity to freshen up your safety program or launch a new initiative. By participating in Safe + Sound Week, you’ll join together with hundreds of organizations across the country, promote safety in your workplace or community, and earn a swanky certificate along with—gasp!—a virtual challenge coin. Oh, and you might also save some lives.
Here are a few easy ways to get involved:
Join the Take 3 in 30 Challenge
Leadership involvement is crucial for every health and safety program. This challenge encourages executives and managers to take 3 safety actions in 30 days. OSHA offers the following as examples:
- Record a video about safety.
- Host a short safety meeting.
- Set safety and health program goals and objectives.
- Write a company newsletter article about safety.
- Find or become a safety mentor.
- Tell businesses you work with about your commitment to safety and health.
These are just a few ideas. Check out more suggestions and information.
Engage in Better Safety Conversations
One of the best ways to promote safety in your workplace is simply to talk about it. The conversations you and your employees have can directly influence others’ behavior, set the tone at your organization, and ultimately grow your safety culture. Many leaders refrain from fully engaging in these conversations because they feel difficult and emotionally charged.
Fortunately, the tireless PDF creation team at OSHA has released a detailed guide to starting the conversation and avoiding the awkwardness and conflict that sometimes follow. The guide contains tips about active listening, giving the “why I care about safety” elevator speech, offering constructive feedback, and overcoming conversation “killers” like “be a team player” and “just this once.”
Get Your Health and Safety Program Off the Ground
This week is the ideal time to launch or revise a health and safety program. If your business has undergone significant change or growth recently, or if you just haven’t had the time to update or formalize your program, make the most of Safe + Sound Week.
Here are some simple steps to get started, courtesy of OSHA:
- Establish safety and health as a core value
- Lead by example
- Implement a reporting system
- Provide training
- Conduct inspections
- Collect hazard control ideas
- Implement hazard controls
- Address emergencies
- Seek input on workplace changes
- Make improvements to the program
Want more ideas for keeping your workplace safe and healthy?
Need help launching or updating your safety program? Ready to earn that challenge coin? KPA has the tools and support you need. Contact us.