For successful organizations, safety is more than a priority; it is a value that is deeply embedded into the organization’s workplace culture. Led by forward-thinking employers, and supported by organizations such as the National Safety Council (NSC), the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), and others, workplaces continue to get safer. However, with more than 3.6 million workers seriously injured on the job each year, there is still a constant need to draw attention to the importance of workplace safety programs. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) helps to do this with their Safe + Sound program, a year-round campaign that encourages all workplaces to invest in safety. Safe + Sound Week is an annual event that promotes the program and reminds organizations to never let their guard down.
Established in 1970, OSHA’s primary mission is ensuring safe and healthful working conditions by setting and enforcing standards across various industries. This mission is reinforced through regulations, guidelines, and initiatives. One such initiative is the Safe + Sound Campaign, which encourages all workplaces to have a robust safety and health program.
OSHA outlines the following core elements that should be part of all workplace safety programs:
Management Leadership - Successful programs have commitment from the top. Management should implement programs that drive continuous safety and health improvements.
Worker Participation - Employee involvement is critical to success. Programs should draw from workers collective experiences, knowledge, and insights and include a feedback loop between workers and management.
Find & Fix Hazards - Organizations must have a systematic process for identifying and controlling hazards. These should include proactive measures, such as conducting inspections, as well as reactive processes for reviewing incidents and identifying root causes.
OSHA also offers Activities within each of these elements. Each includes Challenges designed to improve visibility, enhance collaboration, and recognize exceptional efforts. They also offer numerous Resources for starting new programs, building a safety culture, and sharing recommended practices.
Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide event held each August that draws attention to the Safe + Sound Campaign while celebrating the successes of individual workplace safety programs. It is open to any organization committed to safety. This inclusivity has resulted in significant participation in the past, with over 3,300 businesses joining in to help raise awareness. Ultimately, Safe + Sound Week aims to boost continuous improvement and underline the importance of an unwavering commitment to worker safety.
Participating organizations can share news about their programs and successes on social media using the hashtag #SafeAndSoundAtWork. They can also share results related to the various challenges using the hashtags #Take3in30, #LeadWithSafety, #SafetyChampions, #AllInOnSafety, #SpeakUpForSafety, #CheckOnSafety, #EyesOnSafety, and #HaltAHazard.
In 2023, the event is scheduled for the week of August 7-13. Here are suggestions on some of the ways you can get involved:
Safety Training Sessions: These can be tailored to address specific safety concerns in your industry or workplace, or they can cover more general safety principles. Consider using engaging and interactive formats, such as hands-on demonstrations, to maximize impact and retention.
Recognition Programs: Recognizing and rewarding employees for their safe work can motivate others to follow suit. A recognition program could involve nominating 'safety champions' who consistently prioritize safety, or it could be a reward system for teams that achieve certain safety milestones.
Inspections and Hazard Hunts: Encourage teams to identify potential safety hazards in their work areas. This proactive approach helps spot issues before they result in incidents and fosters a sense of shared responsibility for safety. Consider making it a friendly competition, with small rewards for the teams that identify the most potential hazards.
Partner with Safety Vendors or Local Safety Organizations: Inviting external safety experts can provide a fresh perspective and valuable insights. They can host workshops, provide specialized training, or share their expertise to help improve your safety programs.
Remember, the best activities will be ones that align with your organization's unique safety needs and culture.
Safe + Sound Week provides a platform for your company to be innovative, engage your workforce in new ways, and firmly embed the principles of safety in your organization's DNA. These types of proactive safety management and employee engagement programs can transform the workplace in profound and meaningful ways:
Enhanced Workplace Culture: Employees feel valued and respected when their safety and health are prioritized. This sense of care fosters a positive workplace culture where employees are more satisfied and motivated. A culture of safety also nurtures trust and openness, as workers feel confident reporting hazards or incidents without fear of retaliation.
Cost Savings: Safety programs help prevent accidents that can lead to significant expenses, including medical treatment, workers' compensation claims, equipment repairs, and lost productivity due to absenteeism or disrupted operations. By investing in safety, companies can avoid these costs and even lower their insurance premiums.
Comprehensive Risk Management: The Safe + Sound Week initiative encourages companies to look beyond immediate physical hazards and address a broader spectrum of risk. This can include long-term health hazards like repetitive strain injuries, ergonomic concerns such as workplace setup and equipment design, and mental health issues like stress, burnout, and other work-related psychosocial risks. Addressing these often-overlooked aspects can further enhance worker well-being and productivity.
Safety management and employee engagement programs offer a holistic approach to preserving human capital—the most valuable asset of any organization. By promoting safety and health at every level, businesses can realize significant benefits, from a happier, healthier workforce to a healthier bottom line.
Dakota Software is a proud supporter of OSHA’s Safe + Sound program. In fact, supporting safety and compliance excellence has been central to our mission for more than three decades. Our Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) management solutions help organizations ensure compliance with EHS regulations and proactively manage workplace safety.
Our Scout platform assists in capturing safety incidents, learning from them, and leveraging this knowledge for future prevention. It enables organizations to track and analyze safety data, identify trends, and pinpoint areas that require attention. Through this continual learning process, organizations can more effectively reduce risks, improve safety performance, and ensure that lessons from past incidents shape future safety strategies.
As you prepare for Safe + Sound Week, explore our Demo Library to discover how we can help enhance your safety program and support your commitment to a safe and healthy workplace.