May 6-12 is North American Occupational Safety & Health (NAOSH) Week. The goal of NAOSH Week is to focus the attention of workplaces and the public on the importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace, at home and in the community. This year’s theme: Safety & Health: A Commitment for Life! Making It Work!
Are you planning to hold any safety events in your workplace for NAOSH week? If not, you should.
NAOSH Week presents a great opportunity to focus, reinforce and strengthen commitment to workplace safety and health. Participation and involvement in NAOSH Week has been shown to:
- Improve attitudes toward safety
- Increase understanding of the importance of workplace safety
- Foster a safety culture
- Increase cooperation
- Raise awareness
- Assist in team building
- Improve communication between workers, JHSCs and safety professionals.
Plan Your Events Now
It’s not too late to get started. The Ontario MOL suggests you take the following steps:
- Establish a NAOSH Week Planning Committee. Consider involving workers, members of the JHSC, Canadian Society of Safety Engineering members, representatives from business, suppliers, government and other safety organizations.
- Develop a proposal for events and activities that will support your company’s safety objectives and promote senior-level involvement and participation.
- Plan for broad involvement through a variety of events that include not just the company but its surrounding community.
- Develop an outline for implementation by answering these questions: What are your objectives? Goals? What are you going to do? When? Where? What do you need to make it happen? Who can help?
Examples of events you can hold include:
- Host a safety day camp for school children, workers and their families.
- Launch a recognition program for safety suggestions that are put into use or enhance ongoing health and safety practices.
- Conduct an open house that focuses on health and safety. Involve suppliers and invite local dignitaries, clients and colleagues.
- Conduct training sessions for workers.
- Partner with suppliers and community health and safety organizations to set up safety demonstrations, focused on safe work habits, for workers and/or people in the community.
- Sponsor a poster contest for workers’ children.
- Create a safety calendar for your staff and clients.
- Use games and contests to test knowledge of health and safety facts and information, such as crossword puzzles, “Are You Safer Than a Fifth Grader?” games, scavenger hunts, etc.
- Insert NAOSH Week messages in correspondence, memorandums and e-mails to staff.
- Display NAOSH Week posters in offices, on bulletin boards, at work stations.
- Invite school classes to tour your operations, highlighting basic safety features and the importance of working safely.
- Host a PPE fashion show.
National NAOSH Events
If you aren’t able to plan events in your own workplace, jurisdictions across Canada are holding events during NAOSH week in which you can participate. Here are links to lists of these events:
- New Brunswick
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island