Illinois Department of Labor promotes Safe and Sound Week

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National program stresses involving employees in planning

information provided by the Illinois Department of Labor

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (August 10, 2020) – The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) is joining with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in highlighting safety and health programs during Safe and Sound Week, August 10–16.

The nationwide event is held each August to recognize the successes of workplace health and safety programs and offer information and ideas on how to keep America’s workers safe.

Safe and Sound Week encourages organizations and businesses to create comprehensive health and safety programs. It’s also a chance to showcase existing health and safety programs.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the rate of worker deaths and reported injuries in the United States has decreased by more than 60 percent in the past five decades since the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed. However, every year, more than 5,000 workers are killed on the job (a rate of about 14 deaths per day), and more than 3.6 million suffer a serious job-related injury or illness.

IDOL’s Illinois OSHA division offers an on-site consultation program designed to identify potential hazards and recognize existing precautionary measures your company is already taking to keep your workplace safe. The program does not penalize but rather seeks to collaborate with businesses to improve worker health and safety. More information is available at www2.illinois.gov/idol/Laws-Rules/safety.aspx.

Even if your organization or company is not ready to implement a comprehensive health and safety program, OSHA offers common-sense recommendations aimed at improving health and safety at the workplace.

  • Establish safety and health as a core value.
    Stress that everyone who comes to work should go home safely at the end of the day. Pledge to find and fix any hazards that pose health or safety concerns.

  • Lead by example.
    Leaders and managers should practice safe behaviors and make safety a part of daily conversation with workers.

  • Implement a reporting system.
    Develop and communicate a simple process for reporting injuries, illness, incidents and hazards with without fear of retaliation. Include an option for anonymous complaints.

  • Provide training.
    Train workers on how to identify and control hazards in the workplace and to report hazards, incidents, injuries and illnesses.

  • Conduct inspections.
    Inspect the workplace along with employees and ask them to point out hazards, always emphasizing the importance of safety.

  • Collect and implement hazard control ideas.
    Involve employees for ideas on improvements and follow up on their suggestions.

  • Address emergencies.
    Identify foreseeable emergency scenarios and develop instructions on what to do in each case. Discuss the procedures with employees and post them in a highly visible location.

  • Seek input before making workplace changes.
    Before making significant changes to the workplace, consult with employees to identify potential safety or health issues.

  • Improve the program.
    Meet regularly with employees to discuss health and safety issues with the goal of improving your plan.

For more information on OSHA’s 2020 Safe and Sound Week, visit the official website: https://www.osha.gov/safeandsoundweek/

For more information on Illinois OSHA, please visit: https://www2.illinois.gov/idol/Laws-Rules/safety/Pages/default.aspx