June is National Safety Month , an annual observance organized by the National Safety Council (NSC) to stress the importance of safety in and outside of the workplace. This is a great opportunity to raise awareness about the value of safety at your facility!
The topics for this year’s event are:
- Week 1, Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs): MSDs, also known as ergonomic injuries, result from exposures to repetitive movements, awkward or static postures and forceful exertions. These injuries may include rotator cuff tears, back strains, and carpal tunnel syndrome; they are the most common causes of disability and early retirement among workers. In addition, they cost employers billions each year in workers’ compensation and lost productivity. The NRC website has resources and tools to help your organization put initiatives in place to help prevent ergonomic injuries.
- Week 2, Workplace Impairment: In addition to the dangers of substance use on the job, mental distress, stress, and fatigue are also impairing. Based on a 2021 NSC survey, 90% of employers say they are concerned about alcohol, opioids, mental health disorders and chronic stress in their workplaces. More than half said impairment is decreasing the safety of their workforce. The NRC website provides resources to help employers recognize the signs of, and address, workplace impairment.
- Week 3, Injury Prevention: According to the NSC, in 2020, more than four million workplace injuries required medical attention in the U.S. Data show that Injury and Illness Prevention Programs work for both large and small employers. Small businesses evaluated in Ohio that established prevention programs reduced workers’ comp cases by an average of 52% and the cost per claim by 80%. The NRC website provides approaches to preventing injuries and deaths, including identifying hazards and assessing risks.
- Week 4, Slips, Trips, and Falls: According to NSC data, the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death is falls. In 2020, 42,114 people died in falls at home and at work. For working adults, depending on the industry, falls can be the leading cause of death. During week 4, the focus will be on reducing general slips, trips, and falls as well as falls from heights.
You can sign up on the National Safety Month website (choose the link that says “Sign up now”) to get free materials to promote this event at your workplace. There are great resources available for each week’s theme including fact sheets, podcasts, webinars, training materials and more!
For additional information on National Safety Month, or for ideas about how to promote this event at your workplace, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog was written by Beth Graham, Associate Director of Quality, Research, & Training at Safety Partners.