Every June, the National Safety Council (NSC) celebrates National Safety Month alongside thousands of organizations and workers nationwide. The NSC focuses on a different topic each week. Let us look at this year's themes and apply them to the jobsite.
Week 1: Prevent incidents before they start. This theme is all about ideas like hazard identification, paying attention, and awareness. Before starting even ordinary tasks, think about how you are going to stay safe and keep those who work around you safe. In addition, because jobsites change all the time, you have to be alert to hazards as they develop. You make the jobsite safer by planning for known hazards and by identifying and controlling hazards on the fly.
Week 2: Address ongoing COVID-1 9 safety concerns. The world is adjusting to the continuing pandemic. However, while other industries are returning to physical workspaces, many workers never left the jobsite. It has been a long battle, but we cannot give up. The vaccine will help life get back to normal soon. Do your best to follow your organization's rules about masks, social distancing, etc. If you feel that COVID-19 rules are being minimized or ignored on the jobsite, talk with your supervisor.
Week 3: It is vital to feel safe on the job. Feeling safe on the job is about more than inspecting your safety gear and wearing it properly. Personal protective equipment cannot protect you from the stress of work or the stress of life. Safety controls cannot protect co-workers from bullying or harassment. If you are suffering from on-the-job bullying or harassment, you need to advocate for yourself: talk with your supervisor or someone from the organization's Employee Assistance Program. If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, or just too much stress, talk with your doctor to get some advice on ways to cope.
Week 4: Advance your safety journey. Just because you have safety protocols in place on the job, does not mean there is not room for improvement. When you look around the jobsite, try to see the small picture. If a security fence is damaged by heavy equipment or you notice a paint spill, report the problem to the right person and then check back to see that it has taken care of. Try to see the big picture, too. What safety processes are missing? Does the jobsite need an emergency evacuation plan or a fall rescue plan? National Safety Month gives everyone a good reason to talk about safety. On the jobsite, we talk about safety all the time, but safety does not stop when you leave at the end of the day. Take National Safety Month home to your family. Take a few minutes each week to talk to your spouse and kids about safety. Apply the themes to your life at home: Prevent hazards, manage COVID-19, make sure everyone feels safe at home, and teach them a little more about safety.
Mental health is a safety issue. If you are feeling anxious or depressed, your safety at work can suffer. Ask for help.
Entire contents adapted from “Weekly Safety Meetings” Volume 44, Issue 23, Safety Meeting Outlines, Inc.