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Strong safety performance is a cornerstone of any business. Implementing and enforcing health and safety policies and safe work practices is essential to ensure that the organization does not endanger the health or safety of workers, communities, or customers. More often than not, strong safety performance also makes the difference in being qualified to provide services to customers or being able to sustain/expand the business.
June is National Safety Month. Observed annually by the National Safety Council (NSC), the nation’s leading nonprofit safety advocate, National Safety Month focuses on “saving lives and preventing injuries, from the workplace to anyplace.”
Where to Start
This year, NSC has chosen the following weekly topics to highlight during National Safety Month:
- Week 1 – Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs): MSDs are a leading cause of workplace injury and cost billions each year in workers’ compensation and lost productivity.
- Week 2 – Workplace Impairment: More than 90% of employers agree that fatigue, mental distress, and stress can cause workplace impairment, in addition to drug misuse.
- Week 3 – Injury Prevention: In 2020 alone, more than four million workplace injuries required medical attention in the U.S., resulting in more than $643 billion in costs.
- Week 4 – Slips, Trips, and Falls: Falls are the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death and the most frequently cited standard on the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) top 10 list for the eleventh year in a row (see below).
OSHA’s Top 10: FY 2021
Beyond the topics NSC has chosen to highlight for this year’s National Safety Month, OSHA’s list of the top 10 most frequently cited standards is an excellent place for any organization to focus their attention. OSHA publishes this list each year to help employers take the appropriate steps to find and fix recognized hazards before they experience a workplace injury and/or before OSHA shows up for an inspection.
OSHA’s top 10 for FY 2021 includes the following:
- Fall Protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
- Respiratory Protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134)
- Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)
- Hazard Communication, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200)
- Scaffolding, construction (29 CFR 1926.451)
- Fall Protection Training, construction (29 CFR 1926.503)
- Control of Hazardous Energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147)
- Eye and Face Protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.102)
- Powered Industrial Trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178)
- Machinery and Machine Guarding, general industry (29 CFR 1910.212)
Many workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths that occur in workplaces are related to these top 10 cited standards—and many could be prevented with adequate resources and attention. That is why it remains critical for organizations to continue developing and promoting strong safety and health programs, as well as educating and training workers in safety awareness.
For more information on National Safety Month, visit https://www.nsc.org/workplace/national-safety-month.