Looking Back at National Safety Month: Strategies for Reducing Workplace Accidents and Ensuring Employee Well-Being
A company’s approach to safety should not be one-sided.
- By Ryan Ayers
- Jun 29, 2023
Each June, we celebrate an important but often overlooked topic: safety, especially in the workplace. Keeping consistently high safety standards can be a challenge, but National Safety Month encourages employers and individuals to be proactive and stay on top of potential safety issues.
National Safety Month celebrates the vitally important but often dismissed topics of personal and professional safety. Although these are topics that most people don’t consider “fun,” that’s exactly why National Safety Month is important: It provides a powerful reminder that safety can prevent a wide variety of tragedies that can impact people’s lives long-term. Overall, the goal of recognizing June as National Safety Month is to reduce workplace accidents, improve well-being and encourage a safety-centric culture.
While National Safety Month can serve as a reliable prompt for updating and maintaining critical safety protocols, safety is important year-round.
Benefits of Emphasizing Workplace Safety
For centuries, dangerous work has been an accepted hazard of daily life. Although many workplaces are safer than ever before, risks still exist, especially in certain industries. It’s not possible to prevent every accident; however, there are many precautions that employers and workers can take to reduce accidents and improve well-being.
There are many benefits that go along with emphasizing workplace safety. First, employees stay healthier and may face fewer injuries. This allows them to work normal hours and earn a living while using fewer sick days. They are also likely to be less stressed, resulting in better morale and lower turnover.
Employers benefit greatly from a healthy workforce. Workers are more productive when they feel well, both physically and mentally. Fewer injuries also help ensure that staffing levels are more consistent, and there’s a lower chance of losing good employees to injuries.
A safe workplace helps to cut down on insurance costs. Safety precautions also help to keep businesses in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. Emphasizing safety reduces the chance of a citation or other types of legal action.
Strategies for Reducing Workplace Accidents
No one wants to see accidents and injuries occur in the workplace. However, without proper procedures, safeguards and training, these safety incidents are more likely to occur.
There are lots of strategies employers can use to promote safety in the workplace and reduce injuries. It starts with defined safety goals and compliance. Following best practices that comply with relevant laws and regulations needs to be a top priority. However, that’s only the bare minimum when it comes to reducing workplace accidents and promoting well-being.
Employers also need to create a culture of safety. That means identifying potential risks and developing safeguards and training programs to address those risks. Formal policies are also important in building a culture around safety.
Ongoing training and regular assessments are hallmarks of employers who prioritize safety. Without these protocols, it’s easy for people to eventually start letting safety issues slide. Encouraging employee participation in reporting safety issues and potential safety concerns and providing the proper PPE is also critical.
Help Build Engagement Among Employees
Engagement around topics of safety can be a challenge. It’s not an exciting thing to talk about at the water cooler, and most people think that accidents happen to other people, not to themselves. However, it’s important to get employees engaged in issues of safety and well-being.
Think about how you can use the opportunity to help build engagement. Can you offer some refresher courses and workshops? Provide new, upgraded PPE? Host contests that revolve around knowledge of your workplace's safety policies? Create employee recognition programs and rewards? The options are endless.
It might involve some creativity and investment, but it’s always a great time to get your employees involved in the safety measures that help to create a healthy workplace. Take the opportunity to really celebrate safety and its role in promoting employee well-being.