As you work through your safety strategy, you might feel as if you’re repeating the same messages ad nauseum. Wear gloves, protect your hands, avoid spills, cut away from your body. You know the drill, and so do they—and sometimes, they seem to disconnect. You may need to try a different approach to safety awareness topics.
By working health and safety awareness topics and other concepts into your communications plan, you show your employees you care about them as a person, not just a staff member. This helps not just with overall attentiveness to safety awareness in the workplace but with employee engagement, too. According to Forbes, employees need a sense of well-being in order to do their best work. Here’s a sample calendar for you to customize to fit your company’s unique challenges.
January: Unexpected Indoor Dangers
In the midst of winter, January is rife with opportunity for radon poisoning. That’s why the Environmental Protection Agency named January Radon Awareness Month. Radon is a serious concern for many industrial settings, mainly because the closed-off spaces of warehouses, mines, and other such commercial properties trap the radioactive gas indoors. Promote radon safety at work and at home.
February: Safety Awareness Ideas You’ll Love
It’s fitting that the month of love should focus on heart health. American Heart Disease Awareness Month is February, and it offers you a chance to help employees check in on their overall wellness. Burn Awareness Week provides an alternative that might make sense based on your company’s primary product and management system.
March: Choose a Home or Office Focus
March is both National Nutrition Month and Workplace Eye Wellness Month. Consider the weight you put on at-work safety versus overall safety, and use one or both of these celebrations to guide your toolbox talks and other regular safety discussions.
April: Injury Prevention is Just One Option
Three big safety awareness training topics stand out in April: Alcohol Awareness Month, National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and, of course, Injury Prevention Month. Alcohol and distracted driving certainly play into the concept of injury prevention, so think about how you want to meld one or all three into your overall plan.
May: Work or Play, You Have Safety Covered
With summer around the corner and temperatures rising, May sees an uptick in bikers and cyclists alike on the road. If your staff has enough riders to make it worth your while, weave in safety discussions for National Bike Month and Motorcycle Safety Month. Not a lot of riders at your company? Cover National Electrical Safety Month or National Physical Fitness & Sports Month instead. Still stuck? North American Occupational Safety and Health Week is in May, too.
June: All About Safety
National Safety Month is in June, as is Home Safety Month and National CPR and AED Awareness Week. All three acknowledge invaluable safety lessons and make for excellent monthly safety meetings for all your employees.
July: Hand and Skin Safety Outside the Workplace
You probably talk about preventing hand injuries and burns all the time during your safety meetings. Extend this concern for your employees’ safety awareness at home by promoting National Fireworks Safety Month and UV Safety Month, too. Both types of incidents can result in lost work time and sometimes permanent debilitation, so investing your time reaps preventative rewards. Use a video such as this one right before July 4 to drive home the idea of safety away from work.
August: Getting Schooled
Back to School Month is a headliner for August. While most employees are either at the end of their school careers or long since graduated, back-to-school safety topics tie into your safety communications plan and remind employees how much you value not just them but their whole family.
September: Food and Beverage (Sort Of)
In September, food takes center stage with Fruit and Veggie Month and National Food Safety Education Month. If you work in a packing plant, these topics are a natural fit, but nearly any team can benefit from knowing more about eating healthfully. Of course, you want your employees to be perfectly alert on the job, too. So, National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month lets you address these needs from a holistic perspective.
October: The Eyes Have It
Eye Injury Prevention Month falls in October, and it’s a wonderful fit for the messages you already need to communicate to your employees. In this case, in addition to requirements from OSHA, monthly safety topics deliver easy-to-add information that supplements your company’s rules and regulations.
November: Staying Awake
Just in time for overstuffed birds and the people who stuff themselves with them, Drowsy Driving Prevention Week is in November. This is a high-impact crossover promotion between home and workplace safety awareness, particularly if your team includes forklift drivers or truckers.
December: Safe and Sober
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration runs its Holiday Season Drunk Driving campaign every December. Naturally, you want your employees to make safe decisions when they’ve had too much to drink, both for the company’s sake and to protect your people in general.
If these ideas don’t align with your company’s demographics or safety needs, check out this list of safety awareness topics. Workplace safety encompasses both the obvious, like personal protective equipment and the little behavioral shifts that keep your employees healthy and safe while they’re away from the job, too. Use your year-long safety plan to reinforce the key messages that empower your employees to make the right choices.