Each year, during North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week, thousands of individuals and organizations across North America join together to raise awareness about the importance of preventing injuries and illnesses at work. NAOSH Week runs from Sunday through Saturday the first full week in May. The goal during NAOSH Week is to focus the attention of employers, employees, partners and the public on the importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace, at home and in the community.
Created by the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering and championed by ASSP and other organizations in Canada, the United States and Mexico, this key observance is celebrating its 20th anniversary and encourages grassroots efforts at every organization in all industries to bolster workplace safety. (#NAOSHweek)
The Importance of Work Safety
Eighty-five percent of workers rank workplace safety first in importance among labor standards, even ahead of family and maternity leave, minimum wage, paid sick days, overtime pay and the right to join a union, according to a study from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.
Employers also rank workplace safety as a high priority, understanding that healthy and safe workers are essential to a productive workplace. Employees remain motivated if they feel safe at their workplace. Thus, safety is a critical element of productivity for both worker and employer.
Major factors that contribute to workplace injuries include:
- Working conditions with poor lighting or poor environmental hygiene
- Lack of protective elements such as missing guard rails on walkways
- Poorly maintained or misused equipment
- Unclear safety procedures or lack of safety training
- Unsafe walking surfaces
Invest in Workplace Safety
The cost of preventing work-related injuries and illnesses is far less than the cost of correcting them. Organizations that invest consistently in safety realize reduced absenteeism, lower turnover rates, higher productivity, increased employee morale and a positive brand image, leading to a positive impact on the bottom line.
Celebrate NAOSH Week
- NAOSH Week presents an excellent opportunity to focus, reinforce and strengthen commitment to occupational safety and health. Participation and involvement in NAOSH Week has been shown to:
- Improve attitudes towards safety
- Increase understanding of the importance of occupational health and safety
- Foster a safety-minded culture
- Increase cooperation and
- Raise awareness about occupational safety issues
Since the key to reducing injuries and illnesses is employee engagement, these resources might give you some insight into promoting and improving engagement: