Celebrate, Energize, or Launch Your Safety Program During Safe + Sound Week

Today’s Industry Voices was written by ISRI’s Vice President of Safety, Tony Smith.

Every August, organizations across the nation participate in Safe + Sound Week, a promotion organized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Running this year from Aug. 9 to 15, Safe + Sound Week recognizes the successes of workplace health and safety programs. It also offers information and ideas on how to keep America’s workers safe. The event is open to any organization looking to recognize its commitment to safety. It’s also a chance for organizations to launch a safety program or energize an existing one.

Safe + Sound Week is a great opportunity for a company’s senior leadership to work with and better understand the needs of their workforce. Leaders can learn about health and safety issues facing their employees. The event can help build teamwork and safety culture across the organization. Having the highest level of leadership in the company address workers’ health and safety sets a tone of commitment. Leadership could lead a safety meeting, deliver a safety message, or walk the floor and discuss safety goals with workers.

Since the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act was passed in 1970 to ensure safe workplace conditions around the country, the rate of worker deaths and reported injuries in the U.S. has decreased by more than 60% over the past four decades, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unfortunately, though, more than 5,000 workers are still killed on the job every year (a rate of 14 per day), and more than 3.6 million workers suffer a serious job-related injury or illness.

Serious job-related injuries or illnesses hurt workers and their families. They also have the potential to hurt businesses. Implementing a health and safety program, however, allows businesses to proactively identify and manage workplace hazards before they can cause injury or illness, which improves sustainability and the bottom line. Health and safety programs also help businesses:

  • Prevent workplace injuries and illnesses
  • Improve compliance with laws and regulations
  • Reduce costs, including significant reductions in workers’ compensation premiums
  • Engage workers
  • Enhance social responsibility goals
  • Increase productivity and enhance overall business operations

Participating in Safe + Sound Week is an easy three-step process. First, sign up to participate. Second, identify activities and events to plan and promote for your workplace or community, and check out OSHA’s example activities, graphics, and other resources. Information on planning and promoting your event can be found here. We encourage companies to review the tools and resources that OSHA provides for this campaign. The tools help management and workers come together and highlight safety successes, discuss why safety is important, or talk about how injury and illness prevention is tied to organizational goals and values. Last, recognize your participation. After you’ve completed your events, download a certificate and virtual challenge coin to recognize your organization.

Last year, more than 3,400 businesses helped raise awareness about workers’ health and safety. We hope that your business participates in this year’s Safe + Sound Week. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to ISRI’s safety team at isrisafety@isri.org.