With spring just around the corner, there’s no better opportunity to teach your workers about important safety topics, especially those that can affect anyone, anywhere, at any time. Poisoning is one such example.
While 90% of poisonings happen at home, the sad reality is that toxic substances creep into the workplace too, with 75% of employers reporting that their workplaces have been affected by opioid use.
National Poison Prevention Week is a great reason to press pause and teach your employees critical safety facts.
Poison and Types of Poisoning
Poisons are all around us. A poison is defined as anything that can harm someone if it is:
- Used in the wrong way
- Used in the wrong amount
- Used by the wrong person
Some poisons are harmful as soon as they come in contact with your eyes or skin, while others must be ingested before they can cause harm. They also come in a variety of forms – solid (like pills), liquids (like household cleaners), gases (like carbon monoxide) and sprays (like sprayable household cleaners).
Also, keep in mind that a safe substance can become poisonous if used improperly, in the wrong amount, or by the wrong person. A medication, for example, may be safe when taken as instructed, but it becomes poisonous if someone takes too much of it or if someone takes it without a prescription.
What Is National Poison Prevention Week?
National Poison Prevention Week is an event in the third full week of March designed to raise awareness about the dangers of poisoning.
While most people think that poisoning is limited to certain demographics (i.e. young children or seniors) or high-risk jobs (such as construction), the truth is that poisoning can happen to anyone. In fact, it happens far more often than you think.
Across the country, the Poison Prevention Week Council’s 57 poison control centers receive 2 million poisoning cases every year. The CDC notes that unintentional poisoning deaths have risen 160% from 1999 to 2009, making the message of National Poison Prevention Week more important than ever before.
Participating in National Poison Prevention Week
As an employer, this is the perfect opportunity to raise safety awareness and protect your workers in the workplace and at home.
The best place to start is by calling your local poison control center to find out what activities they may have planned for National Poison Prevention Week. You can partner with them or with other organizations to participate in these programs.
Another important element is worker training, so don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Hold a mandatory brown bag lunch to start an employee conversation about poisoning and talk about poisoning as a personal concern. If you have multiple shifts, you should have one during every shift so that all workers can attend.
Creating a Hazard-Free Workplace
We know that creating a hazard-free workplace doesn’t stop when National Poison Prevention Week is over. That’s why we built software that can support your safety program all throughout the year.
If you’re looking to beef up your training before you kick off National Poison Prevention Week, make sure to check out our safety training software for a comprehensive training solution. And if you want to see our software in action, get in touch today to let us know how we can help you.