Preventable injuries, or “accidents,” are the fourth leading cause of U.S. deaths. Therefore, employers and workers must do everything possible to prevent these injuries from occurring. For more than 100 years, the National Safety Council (NSC) has advocated for workplace safety. One of its initiatives is the yearly National Safety Month, observed in June, which focuses on reducing or eliminating preventable injuries.
The council aims (specifically) to spread awareness of safety hazards and unintentional injuries for industrial workers of the United States.
National Safety Month includes raising awareness of preventable accidents in the workplace and in everyday life-be it at home, a construction site, at the lake or driving across town.
Prevention is Key. Each person in a community or workplace must do their part to create and uphold a culture of safety.
The National Safety Council is a nonprofit safety advocate that focuses on “eliminating the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths”. Its motto is “Save lives, from the workplace to anytime”.
Each week during June focuses on a different topic of safety concern. This year, the topics include:
Week 1: Emergency Preparedness.
Emergency preparedness encompasses a plethora of places, events and times. Depending on where you live, how you prepare for an emergency will differ.
In Houston and near coastal communities, it is important to prepare for seasonal weather occurrences such as tropical storms and hurricanes. Some ways to prepare include having a first-aid kit always ready and packed, a portable or in-place generator for power outages, batteries, water and enough non-perishable food to last several days.
Week 2: Slips, Trips and Falls.
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the second-most common cause of workplace injury is a trip or slip hazard that leads to a fall. As much as 20-30% of workplace falls result in a moderate or severe injury such as deep bruising, broken bones, or concussions. OSHA states that slips, trips, and falls cause nearly 700 workplace fatalities per year – 15% of all workplace deaths.
Preventing slips, trips, and falls is an ongoing process that relies heavily on employees being able to recognize related hazards. OSHA's primary standard for slip, trip, and fall hazards is the General Industry Walking-Working Surface standard (29 CFR 1910 Subpart D, which includes §1910.21-30). Falls are divided into two categories: same-level falls and elevated falls, which require fall prevention accessories such as fall arrest and fall restraint products from Werner, Tie Down Safety or FallTech.
To learn about the various fall prevention tools United Tool and Fastener offers, please call 713-692-2323.
Week 3: Heat-Related Illness.
Heat-related sickness can occur quickly and unexpectedly. According to the American Red Cross, extreme heat is deadly and kills more people than any other weather event. Therefore, prepare for the heat before it arrives.
It is important to learn how to stay hydrated, which means drinking enough water to prevent heat illness. Various sources cite the importance of drinking at least a gallon of water each day; however, it is necessary to drink fluids prior to feeling thirsty. When doing activity or work outside, a sports drink or additive such as AllSport helps replace the salt and minerals quickly lost while sweating heavily. More information can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heattips.html.
Week 4: Hazard Recognition.
Recognizing hazards is the first step in preventing injury. Being proactive is the next step.
As such, a critical element of any effective safety and health program is a proactive, ongoing process to identify and assess such hazards. A list of recommended practices for safety and health programs can be found at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration website: https://www.osha.gov/safety-management/hazard-Identification.
To learn more about National Safety Month or The National Safety Council and its work, go to: https://www.nsc.org/work-safety/get-involved/national-safety-month. To learn more about the safety tools and products United Tool and Fastener carries, please contact a local UTF showroom in Houston at 713-692-2323; in San Antonio at 210-495-8665; or College Station at 979-731-8665.