Safety is important year-round in the workplace, schools and at home – but every June, the National Safety Council organizes its annual observance of National Safety Month. The four-week event is an especially great opportunity for employers, HR personnel and other workplace administrators to educate workers and hold forums on various safety topics, from ergonomics to the leading causes of preventable injury or even death.
According to the NSC, this year’s month-long theme is “Safety Starts with Me.” Its take-the-reigns ethos encourages employers as well as employees to talk about and analyze current workplace safety measures. A successful safety program engages the entire office or worksite culture, helping everyone recognize their responsibility not only for their own safety but that of their coworkers as well.
This year also boasts weekly themes that can help guide the conversation on workplace safety. As an administrator, employer or HR exec, consider using safety promotional products as an incentive for staff to gather and talk about these weekly topics.
Week 1: Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls
In slapstick comedies, these sorts of pratfalls often play for jokes. But the reality of a serious tumble like one of these is far more serious. For some employees it could be a matter of broken bones – for others it may lead to a concussion. Emphasize the importance of cleaning up spills in the kitchenette or break room. Make an effort to clear walkways of computer cables or electrical wiring. Lay down carpeting or mats for added traction. Ask your employees what ideas they have.
Week 2: Employee Wellness
Safety is about preparedness and preventative measures. This includes basic health concerns, like the common cold, and investments in long-term wellness, such as avoiding chronic diseases. As an employer, it’s to your benefit to make sure that workers are operating at full productivity – and the best way for them to achieve this is through good health. Promotional items can be useful here, especially if you’re looking to start small: pedometers are a popular choice for offices hosting walk-a-thons or encouraging participation in exercise programs.
Week 3: Emergency Preparedness
This week’s focus is on emergency preparedness, which means formulating a plan with your employees regarding dire situations. Take suggestions from workers and talk about the best ways to handle situations like tornadoes, flooding or other severe weather, as well as other emergency situations that concern your employees or are specific to your worksite. Consider running drills, and invest in important safety items such as custom flashlights. Make certain that employees know where these emergency supplies are, or provide them with their own items to keep at workstations or desks. Custom bandage dispensers are great to hand out individually.
Week 4: Ergonomics
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines ergonomics as “the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population.” This takes into account far more than safety. For instance, if a job’s demands include a lot of sitting, employees should be provided with conditions that match that – in this case, a comfortable chair that supports good posture. Discuss this with employees from different departments at your company. What concerns do they have about their day-to-day conditions – and how might ergonomics address that?
Bonus topics: Summer and driving safety
The NSC also provides two extra topics for workplaces to tackle: a discussion on the best ways to stay safe during the summer and a primer on safer driving tactics. Some of these will be common sense, but employees can use a reminder about the proper way to apply sunscreen or a review of driving laws regarding texting or hands-free phone calls. June is a prime time to talk about sun safety, particularly. And there’s never a bad opportunity to talk about ways to make employee commutes hazard-free.
What topics have you discussed with your employees or employers during past safety meetings? What venue is best for these topics: a mass email chain, a break room forum or an office-wide memo? Can you think of other promotional items that might help encourage office safety? Drop us a line to let us know your thoughts!