Each month, we feature a workplace safety topic to inspire your training activities and toolbox talks. June is National Safety Month. (Download our free workplace safety calendar for monthly safety events and tips.)
Every June, the National Safety Council and employers across the country hold events and education to reduce the leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road, at home, and in the community.
This year, with many people preparing to return to work amid COVID-19 (and many others who never left), this event is more important than ever before.
During National Safety Month 2021, each week will focus on a different topic and highlight resources to address the most pressing safety concerns:
- Week 1 - Prevent Incidents Before They Start: Identifying risks and taking proactive measures to reduce hazard exposure is a key component of a safe workplace.
- Week 2 - Address Ongoing COVID-19 Safety Concerns: Building trust around vaccines, supporting mental health, and promoting a safe return to work will be important priorities for employers as the pandemic continues.
- Week 3 - It’s Vital to Feel Safe on the Job: In order to build a strong safety culture, employers must focus on cultivating not only physical safety, but psychological safety as well.
- Week 4 - Advance Your Safety Journey: Continuous improvement is essential for safety program success.
The National Safety Council has shared a number of free resources for organizations, including posters, tip sheets, articles, and more. You don't have to be a member to access these resources. Simply go to the NSC's website, sign up, and receive your free materials.
National Safety Month Ideas 2021
There are countless ways to participate in National Safety Month, but we've compiled a list of 10 ideas to help you recognize National Safety Month in your workplace:
1. Conduct a safety walkaround. Not only does this give you an opportunity to identify risks outside of your regularly scheduled inspections, it’s also an opportunity to talk to employees and establish a visible safety presence.
2. Create a bulletin board around each of the weekly themes. NSC offers free posters to get you started.
3. Publish an internal newsletter or email sharing what your organization is doing to promote safety. Better yet, share data from your safety program to show how your efforts are making employees safer.
4. Catch employees being safe. Recognize safe work behavior with awards or by posting photos to social media or your safety bulletin board.
5. Appoint safety champions who are committed to safety and proactively promote safe work behavior among their peers.
6. Hold a safety contest or trivia. For example, hold a "What's wrong with this picture?" contest and have employees submit their answers for prizes.
7. Host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic. If hosting a vaccination clinic at your workplace isn’t possible, consider allowing employees to get vaccinated during work hours.
8. Implement a safety reporting system. Mobile health and safety apps allow employees to provide anonymous feedback to their supervisors without fear of negative repercussions.
9. Host a virtual family day. Invite workers to show their families where they work and talk about why working safely is important to them.
10. Throw a luncheon to thank your employees for their commitment to safety. Be sure to practice social distancing, and consider serving individually wrapped food as an extra precaution.
Celebrate safety all year round
Of course, the need to raise awareness for safety doesn't end in June. One way to keep the conversation going beyond National Safety Month is to make toolbox talks an ongoing part of your safety program. Not sure where to start? Download our free workplace safety calendar for 40+ events and observances to help you plan your training calendar and inspire your next toolbox talk.
Note: This article was originally published in 2018 and was updated June 10, 2021 for freshness, comprehensiveness, and accuracy.