NORTH AMERICAN OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH WEEK – May 6 – 12, 2012
NAOSH (North American Occupational Safety and Health )Week occurs every year during the first full week of May to raise awareness about occupational safety, health and the environment and safety, as well as health and engineering professions. The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) joined with the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) and partners in Mexico to promote awareness in North America during NAOSH Week. This is one tool the almost 100-year-old ASSE and its 32,000 SH&E members use throughout the year to promote occupational safety, aimed at preventing injuries and illnesses. Several organizations representing thousands of businesses have partnered with ASSE and CSSE to support NAOSH Week, including U.S. federal agencies such as the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
NAOSH Week began in 1997. Canada originally began observing Occupational Safety and Health Week in 1986. During the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) talks in 1997, the representative from Canada suggested that Mexico and the United States become involved in a similar endeavor. Hence, this continent-wide event got its start.
Each year ASSE urges everyone to get involved in NAOSH Week in order to better educate the public about the positive benefits a safe workplace provides not only for workers, but for their families, friends, businesses, local communities and the global community
Wednesday, Occupational Safety and Health Professionals Day is observed. This began in 2007, with the goal of honoring occupational safety, health and environmental professionals who have dedicated their lives to protecting people, property and the environment.
Occupational Safety and Health Professionals are dedicated to focus, reinforce and strengthen workforces to concentrate on staying safe and healthy on the job. Among their many requirements are teaching things such as:
- Team building and commitment.
- Establishing safety committees.
- Creating a safety-minded culture.
- Improving attitudes toward safety.
- Increase cooperation among workers.
- Further understanding of the benefits of working safely and remaining healthy.
- Reduce workplace injuries and illness.
- Catastrophe awareness and preparedness.
- Proper ergonomics in the workplace.
- Fleet safety classes.
- Preventing roadway crashes.
- Mining safety.
- Transportation safety.
Safety Professionals encourage safety committees to ensure that company employees are properly trained and aware of the hazards presented in their particular job duties. One very important piece of the safety puzzle is seeing that workers have the correct type of P.P.E. (Personal Protective Equipment). Whatever P.P.E. is required, i.e., hardhats, ANSI safety glasses, gloves, fall arrest systems, etc., should fit correctly and always used when on the job. Employees should understand the importance of taking care of their protective equipment and know when it should be replaced.
There are many ways of working safely and not taking chances. We must endeavor to stay safe at work and on the job. This is a good time to encourage new safety and health activities during NAOSH week, and thank the professionals that encourage safety.
Source: NAOSH.org; Canadian Society of Safety Engineers