Safety Starts with Me – Wrap Up of National Safety Month June 2013

National Safety Month



This week marks the end of a successful National Safety Month and our series at the ChemSW blog. For a send-off with style, here is a review of the great information we found across the web this month! At ChemSW, we know that lab safety discussions last all year round, so stay tuned for more tips and tricks next month as well!

The National Safety Council (NSC) is the driving force behind National Safety Month June 2013, and they encourage workplace leaders to take their Journey to Workplace Safety based on research and best practices. We can all consider how our organizations align with these ideas.

Safety starts with the leaders in the organization who set a culture of safety, and this culture ensures all employees are engaged in safe practices to share responsibility for safety. This leads to a safety management system in the lab in which there is a set of processes to complete safety tasks and also find and correct safety problems. In our imperfect world, risk can never eliminated completely, but we can do our darndest to reduce it and reap the benefits!

How can we know how strong our safety program is? A good long look in the mirror will make assess if safety protocol is followed and safety issues are fixed promptly.  Auditing the safety program’s strengths and weaknesses provides information for improvement.

This safety month, the National Safety Council turned its sights on some of the most insidious dangers in the workplace: preventing falls, healthy work lifestyle, emergency preparedness and ergonomics. Here is a wrap up of what we found!


Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls

This category is a major cause of lost work time, sick days and injuries. Walking and balancing is a skill most of us learned long ago, but there are some sticky situations that can trip us up. To start, the building must have adequate flooring, exits and stairs. Employees should be sporting footwear appropriate for the surface. We can all pitch in to keep the paths clear of tools, cords, furniture and personal belongings. The last little gremlin is the spill in the path. We need to mark it ASAP and then make sure to clean up spills to prevent accidents.



Healthy Lifestyle at Work and Beyond

In every industry, people who share a common work environment will benefit tremendously from hand washing. This one step alone prevents disease and days lost to sicknesses. Safety at work includes worker health, such as choosing to eat a wholesome diet, finding fun ways to get moving, drinking water (especially outside in the summer), and driving carefully.



Ergonomics with Healthy Tools, Stretching and Good Posture

Take it from me, as someone who sits staring at a computer screen for hours: eyestrain can take its toll. To combat the eyestrain and body aches, there are several things we can do. Excellent office ergonomics means using tools that fit the user, stretching and using good posture. It’s important to take breaks from our sitting or standing desks to stretch the muscles and look away from the computer to give our eyes a rest. Using proper posture all the time will prevent back strain and also make us look more confident. That sounds like a win-win to me!


Emergency Preparedness for Risks outside Our Control

This month, our blog covered emergency preparedness for fire, earthquake and biohazard, but of course this is not the entire list of natural disasters. For all disasters, some of the key tips are having a response kit with important items for everyone in the family. Depending on the individual, this may include food, water medicine, clothes and more. It’s also important to have a plan that includes how to be safe during the disaster and also how to regroup with our families if everyone is separated when it occurred.

National Safety Month is all about being proactive and preventing accidents before they happen. There are tons of excellence resources for personnel at all levels of research, so it’s up to all of us to take the steps to workplace health and safety. ChemSW offers several software solutions for lab inventory safety, so please check out our website more information.

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