Skip to content
    August 14, 2023

    OSHA's Safe and Sound Week

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency that sets and enforces workplace safety and health standards. Each year, OSHA celebrates Safe + Sound Week to promote workplace safety and health.

    What Is Safe + Sound Week?

    Safe + Sound Week is held in August. The goal of Safe + Sound Week is to raise awareness of the importance of workplace safety and health and to encourage employers and employees to take steps to create safe workplaces.

    Why is Safe + Sound Week important?

    Safe + Sound Week is important because it raises awareness of the importance of workplace safety and health. It also provides an opportunity for employers and employees to come together and focus on creating safe workplaces. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4,836 workplace fatalities in the United States in 2021. This is a significant number of deaths that could have been prevented. Safe + Sound Week is an opportunity to reduce this number by promoting workplace safety and health.

    Additionally, for every fatal workplace accident in the US, there are dozens if not hundreds more non-fatal injuries. Safe + Sound Week seeks to reduce workplace incidents across the board to better protect US workers and their families from harm. In turn, OSHA hopes to use Safe + Sound Week to educate employers on the benefits of providing the highest possible level of workplace safety as an investment in the long-term success of a company or organization.

    What Is OSHA Promoting During Safe + Sound Week?

    During Safe + Sound Week, OSHA promotes a number of workplace safety and health topics, including:

    • Heat safety: OSHA is urging employers to take steps to protect workers from heat-related illnesses, especially during the summer months. Employers should provide shade, water, and rest breaks for workers who are exposed to hot weather.
    • Fall prevention: Falls are a leading cause of workplace injuries and deaths. OSHA is urging employers to provide fall protection for workers who are working at heights.
    • Electrical safety: Electrical injuries can be fatal. OSHA is urging employers to make sure that electrical equipment is properly maintained and that workers are trained in electrical safety.
    • Machine guarding: Machine guarding helps to prevent workers from being injured by moving machinery. OSHA is urging employers to make sure that all machinery is properly guarded.
    • Chemical safety: Chemicals can be hazardous to workers’ health. OSHA is urging employers to make sure that chemicals are properly labeled and that workers are trained in chemical safety.

    Highlighting General Workplace Safety Principles

    In addition to these specific topics, OSHA also promotes the kinds of general workplace safety principles that are integral to better workplace safety year-round, not just during Safe + Sound Week. These principles include:

    • Providing a safe work environment: Employers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe work environment for their employees. This includes taking steps to prevent accidents and injuries.
    • Following safety procedures: Workers have a responsibility to follow safety procedures and to use personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary.
    • Reporting hazards: Workers should report any hazards that they see to their supervisor or to OSHA.
    • Getting involved in safety: Workers can get involved in safety by participating in their workplace safety committee, attending safety training, and speaking up about safety issues.

    How Workers Can Participate in Safe + Sound Week

    If you’re an employee, there are many ways to participate in Safe + Sound Week. You can:

    • Learn about workplace safety and health topics: OSHA provides a number of resources on workplace safety and health, including fact sheets, videos, and training materials. You can find these resources on the OSHA website.
    • Talk to your employer about workplace safety: Ask your employer about the safety measures that are in place at your workplace and make suggestions for improvement.
    • Get involved in your workplace safety committee: If your workplace has a safety committee, get involved and help to make your workplace safer.
    • Promote workplace safety in your community: Talk to your friends, family, and neighbors about the importance of workplace safety.

    How Employers Can Participate in Safe + Sound Week

    For employers, there are even more ways that you can organize participation in OSHA’s Safe + Sound Week:

    • Hold a safety standdown: A safety standdown is a time when all employees stop work for a short period of time to focus on safety. This is a great opportunity to review safety procedures, discuss hazards, and train employees on new safety measures.
    • Host a safety fair: A safety fair is a fun and engaging way to promote workplace safety. You can set up booths with information on different safety topics, have contests and games, and give away safety prizes.
    • Distribute safety materials: OSHA provides a number of free safety materials, including fact sheets, videos, and training materials. You can distribute these materials to your employees to help them learn about workplace safety.
    • Encourage employees to get involved: You can encourage employees to get involved in safety by forming a safety committee, attending safety training, and speaking up about safety issues.
    • Celebrate successes: When employees take steps to improve safety, be sure to recognize and celebrate their efforts. This will show employees that you value their safety and that you are committed to creating a safe workplace.

    The Last Word on Better Workplace Safety

    Remember that environmental health and safety is a year-round process that takes hard work and attention to detail. Once Safe + Sound Week is over, it’s critical to continue to pay close attention to workplace safety issues. This helps to prevent accidents and injuries that can sideline workers and place a company’s productivity in jeopardy.