While it’s certainly true that safety is necessary every day of the year, it is important to set aside a special time to remind and re-focus on the topic of safety in the workplace, at home, and generally in the world. And so, it’s time for National Safety Month!
History of National Safety Month
Each year, millions of injuries happen in the workplace and thousands of preventable deaths occur when safety protocols and best practices are not followed. The purpose and hope for National Safety Month is to draw attention to these workplace accidents and reduce the number of injuries and deaths all throughout the United States.
National Safety Month got its start in 1996 when it was organized by the National Safety Council in Washington DC. For more than 25 years, this event encourages organizations and individuals all throughout the country to come together in dedication to the continuing pursuit of safety.
As part of the observance of National Safety Month, each week of June is dedicated to a different point or theme that is related to the topic of safety. These include:
- First week: Emergency Preparedness
- Second week: Slips, Trips and Falls
- Third week: Heat-Related Illness
- Fourth Week: Hazard Recognition
How to Celebrate National Safety Month
During the month of June, take some time to consider safety and its implications in the home, workplace and other community spaces by celebrating National Safety Month with some of these activities and ideas:
Access National Safety Month Resources
Individuals, employers, organizations and others can get access to free resources from the National Safety Council on behalf of National Safety Month and all throughout the year. These resources include posters, tip sheets, graphics, articles and a variety of other tools that can help folks be informed and prepared. Other places to get resources about safety might be from the local fire department, police department, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) or other community organizations.
Host a Safety Campaign
Employers, volunteer organizations, schools and others might want to take National Safety Month as an annual reminder to host events and activities that focus on safety. From activities for children in schools that can help them learn how to be safer in their environments to seminars, lectures, training or video series that can be used for adults in the workplace, this is a perfect time to refresh memories about important guidelines and safety practices.
Create a Home Safety Plan
Parents and others with small children may be especially interested in creating a Home Safety Plan, but others, including those with aging parents, might also find that National Safety Month is the perfect motivation to suggest some proactive safety measures in the home.
Consider some of these main points when creating a safety plan for home:
This is a critical point in safety, starting with preventative measures such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers and moving on to an evacuation plan in case of a fire, including identifying two meeting places in case of an emergency.
Keeping everyone safe in an emergency is important. This could include natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or wildfires. Be sure to have an emergency kit and stockpile available, including supplies like a flashlight with extra batteries, fresh drinking water, shelf stable foods, first aid kit and many other important items.
Get Smartphone Alerts
Today it is easier than ever to be notified in case of an emergency in the local area! Set up alerts on a smartphone that indicates the exact type of emergency and how likely it is to impact the particular location.
Prepare the Kids
Education and knowledge is the best way to help everyone keep their cool and know what to do in an emergency. Practice the plan with the kids, make sure they have important phone numbers memorized and go over every scenario to train them about what they need to do. This same training may also be needed for aging loved ones.
Keep the Community Safe
People in local communities and neighborhoods might want to take this opportunity to organize a campaign in their area. Whether taking on crime prevention in the form of a Neighborhood Watch program or getting involved with safer roads through programs like Streets For Life, National Safety Month is a great time to get motivated.
Students of colleges and universities might want to consider a safety campaign for their campuses that might include prevention of or reporting of crimes such as stalking or robbery. Or it might mean setting up a hotline for those who have concerns about drug abuse whether through illicit drugs or prescription drug abuse. But whatever the safety issue, collaboration between students, faculty and parents is the most effective way to promote safety.
Attend a National Safety Month Event
Each year for four weeks, National Safety Month is celebrated with events and activities that are organized all over the country. Large corporations, government task forces, universities and so many others are involved in hosting educational events as a reminder for how to function more safely in the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the University of Chicago, the National Association of Home Builders and so many others have been known to provide information and host various events in the past. Check out which organizations are offering events in a nearby location and then head on over!
Celebrate Safety Throughout the Year
Obviously, National Safety Month creates an ideal opportunity to have all sorts of conversations about how to stay safe in a variety of circumstances. Check out some of these important days related to staying safe: