Making a Difference Regarding Safety

June 1, 2008

Observe National Safety Month in June

As encouraged by the Itasca, IL-based National Safety Council (NSC), "Make a Difference" throughout June 2008 as you and your organization observe National Safety Month. Regardless of the work environment - whether you and your team are responsible for corporate offices, public spaces, or industrial settings—preventing accidents and injuries on the job should be a vital concern.

But, it takes all levels of management to ensure that the most effective and proactive safety program is in place, particularly using tools such as consistent and ongoing education and training for employees and building occupants. In fact, your commitment as a facilities professional to make a difference regarding safety may be one of your most important responsibilities.

In past years, innovative professionals (in concert with their HR colleagues) have used this venue to communicate safety rules and regulations to individuals in their facilities through videos, training sessions, and meetings that review standard policies and introduce tips that could enhance personal safety. Empower building occupants to take ownership of the safety guidelines you share; the resulting confidence will result in more appropriate reactions during stressful situations.

Training can be fun, too. One company held a different safety-related contest each week of National Safety Month, starting with asking employees to find hidden safety items in a picture. The next week, the company created scratch tickets that contained safety-related questions; employees/building tenants had to scratch off the correct answer, earning them either an instant prize or eligibility for a drawing. Another department held an electronic scavenger hunt, encouraging staff members to use the Internet to find answers to safety questions. Go to www.nsc.org to help plan your organization's safety-related activities; use the NSC's weekly topics as a momentum. Don't let the timing of this reminder—which might come to your attention mid month—divert you from making safety first on a daily basis.

According to the NSC, the overall economic impact of accidental injuries (both on and off the job) exceeds $625 billion per year. What can you do to reduce these numbers?

Believe it or not, you can make a difference.

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