How often do we make health and safety a short-term priority, but not actually a value for our organizations or ourselves?
It’s easy to get caught up in the “routine” of everyday life and work and think less about health and safety. Whether you are a construction worker, maintenance worker, line worker, or nurse, it’s all the same–you do what you have to do to get the job done. Unfortunately, that means we don’t always put the extra thought or emphasis on health and safety.
It can be a similar struggle for corporations that are focused on bottom line results, product inventory, or customers served. Health and safety can become an afterthought when a company needs to pick up the pace to hit its numbers. On the other hand, when we talk about health and safety in our organizations and put it at the forefront, we are demonstrating its significance. But, ultimately, that’s just the beginning. How can we further show the value of health and safety within our own organizations?
Next week, August 13-19, 2018, is “Safe + Sound Week” in the United States. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “Safe and Sound week is a nationwide event to raise awareness and understanding of the value of safety and health programs that include management leadership, worker participation, and a systematic approach to finding and fixing hazards in workplaces.”
Health and safety programs are tools to help establish and enable a culture that promotes health and safety and puts workers first. The programs can provide a deeper understanding and clarity for how we should operate within our everyday tasks and activities. This is a key proponent for the Safe + Sound Week. Participating in the week involves companies that choose to take part in a variety of events, which can be hosted internally just for the company, or for the community to engage public awareness.
Albeit OSHA’s celebration is one example, it does provide an excellent and easy opportunity to engage the workforce in health and safety initiatives. Getting buy-in for health and safety is crucial in empowering the workforce and building a culture that truly values health and safety. Everyone should feel responsible for health and safety and cognizant of risks and potential risks in their surrounding environments. The closer we get to making it a value, the better we will be when working on the job or at home.