National Safety Month
Observed annually in June, National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities. Injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 40, but there are many things people can do to stay safe and prevent injuries. Make a difference about ways to reduce the risk of injuries in our communities and workplaces Our families and individuals need to identify and report safety hazards.
According to most recent cumulative data, there were 4,005 worker fatalities and nearly 5 million non-fatal, medically consulted workplace injuries reported in the United States in 2014. Of those injuries, the top causes included overexertion and bodily reaction, contact with an object or equipment, and slips, trips and falls. What this data illustrates is that, like most accidents, many of these injuries could have been prevented with proper safety procedures in place. While looking at data of what’s happened in the past can provide guidance on how improve for the future, the act of being safe requires constant attention. Preventing incidents requires the active pursuit of safety every day – it must be ingrained in the workplace culture.
Emergency Preparedness and Response Program (EPR) integrates occupational safety and health into emergency responses during planning and preparedness activities to protect response and recovery workers. Workers are the common denominator in an emergency event. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related deaths in the U.S. All workers are at risk of crashes, whether you drive light or heavy vehicles, or whether driving is a main or incidental job duty. We all believe ourselves to be safe drivers, yet up to 94 percent of motor vehicle crashes involve human error. One simple step we can all take is to buckle up every trip, every time. Impairment plays a role in many crashes and can take several forms – distraction, drugs, alcohol as well as fatigue.
Emergency situations can happen at any time, making it crucial that you are prepared for the unexpected including natural disasters, fires, active shooter situations or chemical or gas releases. It is best to be prepared both at work and home. Actively participate in workplace drills. With violent acts on the rise, know how to respond to an active shooter. At home, create emergency plans with your family. It is also helpful to put together emergency kits for both your home and car.
Getting enough sleep is important to do your job safely. And, there are some jobs where sleep plays an even more important role in ensuring the safety and health of workers and the people they serve. High stress levels, especially for prolonged periods of time, can lead to hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes Work related Stress can lead to risk of injury and depression, which contributes to absenteeism, presenteeism (workers going to work when they are sick), disability, and unemployment.
Falls remain a persistent but preventable problem in the workplace. Falls are the number one cause of construction-worker fatalities, accounting for one-third of on-the-job deaths in the industry. Falls are the third leading cause of unintentional-injury-related deaths for all ages and the No. 1 cause of death for those 65 and older. Falls from heights often cause more serious injuries and deaths.
Everyone can get involved in reducing the risk of injuries. Together, we can share information about steps people can take to protect themselves and others.