The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is sometimes thought of as an organization focused on the negative—always looking for what is going wrong in a workplace. But it’s with good reason the organization focuses on discovering unsafe practices on the job and providing resources to prevent these conditions in the future. According to OSHA, more than 5,000 workers are killed on the job and more than 3.6 million suffer a serious job-related injury or illness every year.
However, from August 12–18, OSHA will put success at the forefront of its work as it celebrates its annual Safe + Sound campaign. The nationwide event is meant to highlight what businesses are doing right and congratulate businesses on the work they’ve done in the past year to implement safety and health programs.
In 2018, OSHA partnered with over 200 trade associations, industry groups, unions, professional societies, and state and local safety and health organization to spread the message that every business can and should be safe. Over 2,700 organizations across the country hosted Safe + Sound activities and events in their workplace.
At the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, several Armed Forces Medical Examiner System labs held safety scavenger hunts and find-and-fix exercises, in which participants had to identify unsafe issues with their labs. Citadel Environmental Services, Glendale, Calif., held a PPE Fashion Week in which team members shared pictures of themselves in their PPE “because safety is always in fashion.”
Organizations also presented safety demonstrations by product manufacturers, participated in shelter-in-place exercises and fire drills, held poster contests, shared stories of employees working safely on social media, held site-specific safety trainings and had leadership give safety talks among a variety of other events and activities.
While OSHA applauds safety programs around the country, the organization should take a victory lap of its own. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of worker deaths and reported injuries in the United States has decreased by more than 60 percent in the past four decades since the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed. And that’s certainly something worth celebrating.
Visit www.osha.gov/safeandsoundweek/ for more information and additional resources, including posters, brochures, and more, for developing a Safe + Sound program. OSHA encourages all businesses to participate in Safe + Sound Week and share their safety successes on social media using the hashtag #SafeAndSoundAtWork.