June: National Safety Month
June 1, 2021
Not only does every June bring with it warmer days, but it also marks the important time to commemorate National Safety Month. The National Safety Council (NSC) sponsors the annual campaign, which aims to reduce preventable deaths that occur in the workplace, on the road, and in homes and communities. In observance of the 25th anniversary of National Safety Month, the NSC is focusing on workplace deaths, which have steadily increased since 2007.
This Year’s Safety Themes
Each week of National Safety Month has a individual safety topic to explore. This year, the NSC’s four weekly topics are:
- Prevent incidents before they start. Identifying possible hazards and taking steps to reduce the risks associated with exposure to them is key in preventing avoidable injuries and deaths from occurring on the job.
- Address ongoing COVID-19 safety concerns. As workplaces begin to take steps towards getting back to “normal” and remote workers start returning to their physical workspaces, employers have a responsibility to support mental health concerns, to encourage open and honest conversation about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, and more.
- The importance of feeling safe on the job. Feeling safe at work does not just mean being protected from unsafe working conditions. Being safe at work also means not having to fear retaliation from an employer. The leading workplaces are ones that promote an inclusive environment where workers feel safe to report a safety issue or concern without fear of having their hours docked, coming into a hostile work environment, or facing termination.
- Continue to advance your safety journey. Maintaining effective safety and health programs in the workplace is a constantly evolving process. Employers should commit to being on the cutting edge of safety and health topics in order to play their parts in reducing the thousands of preventable and tragic deaths that happen every year.
Occupational Injury Facts
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 5,333 workers died from work-related injuries in 2019. This number represents a 2% increase from the year before. Certain job sectors experience higher fatal injury rates than others, such as construction, transportation and warehousing, agriculture forestry fishing and hunting, professional and business services, government, and manufacturing. Some of the most dangerous known hazards that are linked to preventable injuries in these industries (as well as others) are:
- Falls to the same level or to lower levels
- Overexertion and bodily reaction injuries
- Contact with objects and/or equipment
- Roadway and non-roadway incidents
- Pedestrian vehicle accidents
- Work-related fatigue
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments
One of the most powerful ways that employers can protect workers is to create and uphold an environment that prioritizes safety, addresses hazards, and provides effective solutions in order to reduce unintentional injury and death rates. Maintaining a strong safety culture in the workplace involves identifying and defining safety responsibilities at every level of the organization, communicating these responsibilities to employees at all levels, holding managers and other higher-ups accountable for setting a good example and being a force of positive change, reporting all injuries, near misses, and first aids in a timely manner, and implementing safety committees that meet regularly to address new developments.
To celebrate the upcoming National Safety Month, employers across the United States should come together this June and challenge themselves to implement changes to improve workers’ safety.
If you were injured on the job due to your employer’s safety and/or health failures and you have questions about filing a workers’ compensation claim, someone at our firm can help. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance the provides wage replacement and medical benefits to injured workers. To learn more, contact a representative online now.
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