June is National Safety Month , an annual event sponsored by the National Safety Council (NSC) to stress the importance of safety in, and outside, of the workplace and to highlight the leading causes of preventable injury and death. According to the NSC, preventable injuries, commonly known as “accidents,” are the fourth leading cause of fatalities in the US.
The topics for this year’s National Safety Month are:
- Week 1 (June 1-10), Emergency Preparedness: Planning for an emergency before it occurs is critical to ensure that employees have the necessary equipment and are trained on how to use it, are familiar with evacuation procedures, and know how to keep themselves and others safe when an emergency occurs. As part of preparing for an emergency, the NRC encourages promoting first aid training, noting that when an emergency arises, knowing CPR and how to use an AED can save lives. Learn more about the NSC’s First Aid, CPR, and AED training.
- Week 2 (June 11-17), Slips, Trips, and Falls: Incidents related to slips, trips, and falls are a frequent cause of significant workplace injury; however, in many cases they are preventable. In 2020, there were 42,114 fatalities from falls at home and at work. For working adults, depending on the industry, falls are often the leading cause of fatalities. The NRC’s National Safety Month website has links to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) injury data on falls to a lower level and falls on the same level and also includes links to fall prevention resources including a Falls from Heights Toolkit.
- Week 3 (June 18-24), Heat-Related Illness: According to OSHA, although illness from exposure to heat is preventable, every year thousands of workers become sick from occupational heat exposure, and some of these cases are fatal. In 2021, heat was the second leading cause of weather-related deaths in the US. The NRC has many resources on preventing heat exposure including its Stay Safe in the Heat Tip Sheet and its website on Heat-Related Illnesses and Deaths.
- Week 4 (June 25-30), Hazard Recognition: One of the most common causes of workplace incidents is not proactively identifying or recognizing the hazards that are present, or that could have been anticipated. Being able to recognize hazards and implement appropriate controls is fundamental to an effective safety program. NRC resources on hazard recognition in the workplace and at home include a Being Safe Means Being Alert – All the Time Tip Sheet and links to various articles including one on Effective Incident Investigations and the role they play in hazard recognition.
You can sign up on the National Safety Month website (click on “Learn”) to get free materials to promote this event at your workplace. Public materials are also available from the NRC at this link. There are great resources 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, Safety Partners’ Director of Quality, Research, and Training