National Safety Month is observed annually in June, and it focuses on reducing the leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road, and in our homes and communities. Each week in June highlights a safety topic, which is discussed below.
Week 1: Hazard Recognition
Accidents don’t just happen. Usually there is an error that is within the control of one or more people once you get to the bottom of things. Even when workers have been properly trained and all the proper materials and tools are available, accidents happen often because of haste and poor planning. Best practice is to not take safety shortcuts, make sure you plan ahead, and identify hazards.
Week 2: Slips, Trips and Falls
The third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death is falls, and depending on the industry, for example construction, falls can actually be the leading cause of death. When thinking about slips, trips and falls, most, if not all, are 100% preventable. It’s important to plan ahead, assess the risk and use the right equipment.
Week 3: Fatigue
Occupational fatigue can occur because of long work hours, a heavy workload, lack of sleep, environmental factors, and medical conditions. Effects of fatigue can include slower reaction time, more errors and decreased cognitive ability. Fatigue can occur in all industries, but those affected most often are shift workers, health care workers and drivers. More than 43% of workers are sleep-deprived, and safety performance decreases as employees become tired.
Week 4: Impairment
Reasons for impairment on the job can vary, including lack of sleep, medical condition, or substance use. When thinking about substance use, including legal and illegal drugs, it is estimated that nearly 21 million Americans are living with a substance use disorder, and three-quarters of those struggling with addiction are employed.
This might be National Safety Month, but it goes without saying that safety should be a priority every month. Have questions about these four topics or other safety concerns, Workplace Safety & Health Co. Inc. is here to help. Contact us at 317-253-9737.