June is National Safety Month

National Safety Month 2024June is National Safety Month meaning occupational safety is again on the center stage. This is the 28th anniversary of this observance and this year, the National Safety Council (NSC) has set its sights on both long-standing and emerging health and safety issues.

The main themes for this year’s National Safety Month include slips, trips, and falls, and roadway safety. As part of the observance, the NSC has made various safety tools and resources available for free to both members and non-members.

Why We Mark National Safety Month

Preventable workplace injuries and deaths have been on the rise. National Safety Month is an opportunity to amplify the need to address shortcomings that lead to these incidents and emphasize the importance of being proactive and not reactive on safety matters.

There were 5,486 fatal workplace injuries in 2022, a 5.7% increase from 2021. During the same period, 2,804,200 non-fatal injuries and illnesses were recorded, a 7.5% increase. Despite the gains made in improving occupational safety in the past, these statistics serve as a reminder that plenty of work is necessary to sustain past gains and achieve new ones.

Weekly Topics For National Safety Month 2024

The NSC selects four themes every year, one for each week of June. This year’s themes are:

  • Safety engagement
  • Roadway safety
  • Risk reduction
  • Slips, trips, and falls

Week 1: Safety Engagement

Safety engagement calls for the involvement of all stakeholders in the process of making the work environment safer and healthier. Engagement is a key requirement for turning safety from a series of activities undertaken to ensure compliance into a culture.

You can create engagement on safety matters by making safety personal for workers, rewarding positive safety behavior and discouraging unsafe behaviors, educating and training workers, and being open to employee feedback.

Establishing safety committees, performing emergency drills, and engaging in safety games are some of the proposed ideas for creating engagement.

Week 2: Roadway Safety

Accidents on roadways resulted in 1,369 work-related deaths in 2022. This was 38% of fatal workplace injuries in the US that year and it illustrates the timeliness of this theme.

According to the NSC, many employers are unaware that they are fleet owners and, thus, don’t follow appropriate fleet safety protocols. Driver fatigue has also been singled out as a major risk factor among people who drive for work.

Safety tips that have been recommended to address roadway safety include following basic driver safety protocols, ensuring fleet vehicles are well-maintained, and advocating for safer speeds on roadways.

Week 3: Risk Reduction

Risk reduction is still an important tool for dealing with workplace injuries and deaths. Many occupational accidents are preventable and the NSC believes hazard recognition, safety analysis, and other established practices have important roles to play.

This theme also puts a spotlight on the importance of seeing beyond physical risks with the council recognizing the need to address and safeguard the mental well-being of workers.

Week 4: Slips, Trips and Falls

These hazards remain a major cause of death and injury in many industries, but those in construction fare much worse due to the persistent risk of falling. These three make up the final theme for this year’s National Safety Month and the NSC believes technology and safety information will be important in mitigating these long-standing hazards.

How Can You Participate?

National Safety Month is an opportunity to spread awareness of health and safety by focusing on pressing or emerging issues. You can participate in the observance this year by:

  • Reassessing the state of health and safety in your company
  • Engaging with management and employees to develop safety protocols for highlighted themes and beyond
  • Creating or advocating for systems to address safety risks in your workplace
  • Spreading awareness of workplace safety
  • Conducting safety trainings, etc.

While marking National Safety Month is a significant step, safety should be a year-round initiative. Check out the NSC’s page to discover other ways of participating.

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