How Manufacturers Can Observe National Safety Month
Observed every June since 1996, National Safety Month was created by the National Safety Council as an annual reminder of the year-round importance of safety in the workplace.
National Safety Month provides a cyclical opportunity for retraining and relearning, ensuring that organizations and workers – especially those in the manufacturing industry – get an annual reminder that safety should play a key part in everything they do. Although it is celebrated in June, National Safety Month provides year-round benefits through awareness, training, and presenting the opportunity to develop or refine a manufacturing safety plan.
Why Is Developing a Safety Plan Important?
National Safety Month is a good time to review recent statistics about workplace injury and safety. These statistics serve as reminders for why developing a safety plan is critical for maintaining low incident rates and cultivating a strong safety culture at any manufacturing facility.
- In 2018, 5,250 fatal workplace injuries occurred across all industries, a 2% increase over 2017
- In total, 103,000,000 days were lost in 2018 as a result of workplace injuries
- There were 395,300 recorded workplace injuries in the manufacturing industry last year
Many work-related injuries are preventable through proper training, safety practices, equipment outfitting and availability. For example:
- 33.5% of injuries were due to overexertion – whether in lifting, lowering or repetitive motion
- These types of injuries can be prevented through proper training, stretching, following of procedures and integration of automated equipment
- 26% of injuries were due to contact with equipment
- This can be prevented by safety-focused floorplans, infrastructure, training, and safety protocols for interacting with equipment
- 25.8% of injuries were due to slips, trips and falls
- These injuries can be prevented by infrastructure measures, training and proper procedures
When a solid manufacturing safety plan is in place, even one workplace injury is too many. The following tips can be used to prepare for National Safety Month now and keep the mindset all year round:
- Retrain: Whether new or a 25-year veteran, all employees can benefit from a safety refresher. Even a 30-minute session can reinforce the importance of safety and renew safety practices as a priority in every process. Aside from training current employees, be sure that new hires have been onboarded properly regarding safety training, and that all employees have been trained on any plant technology upgrades.
- Host an event: To gain buy-in and attention, consider turning a safety class into an event. You can also host a separate company-wide safety event to celebrate an incident-free period or recognize employees who exemplify your safety culture. Other ideas include a safety trivia or quiz game, a newsletter or blog series, or a lunch and learn.
- Recognize: Encourage employees to nominate co-workers who exemplify good safety practices or go out of their way to make sure others remain safe. Publicly recognize these employees at an event, on your company’s internal messaging board, on your website, or a newsletter.
Safety and Technical Training With ATS
At ATS, we are proud of our Beyond Zero safety culture that incorporates “Living Safety” both at work and at home. Whether it is National Safety Month or any other time of year, safety is our core value. If you are interested in improving safety at your manufacturing facility, contact us today to learn how our safety-trained skilled maintenance technicians can help make your factory run better.