North American Occupational Safety and Health Week is an annual observance held in the first full week of May to spread awareness about occupational safety and health and to bring in systems that ensure the safety and well-being of workers. This year, it takes place from May 1 to 7. The American Society of Safety Engineers (A.S.S.E.) and Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (C.S.S.E.) partner up every year to reevaluate their existing workplace safety levels in general and to spread awareness about occupational safety and health in the workplace. Every year, resolutions are made to improve the working conditions for employees. Training is arranged and organizations vow to ensure the safety of every single worker.
History of North American Occupational Safety and Health Week
The Industrial Revolution, which began in the 18th century, saw the transition of our world from what could have been described as the old world order to a new world order. The industrialization that occurred during this period laid the foundation for the mass manufacturing and production that takes place today. All of this was made possible by workers who often worked in unsafe conditions.
The cruelty suffered by the workers during the Industrial Revolution became the norm. Working excessive hours in dangerous places has continued its existence even in today’s world. According to the statistics provided by various labor organizations, around three people in every 100 full-time workers fall victim to workplace accidents or mishaps.
The divide between the blue-collar workers (laborers) and the white-collar workers (management) has simply widened instead of being reduced. This means that the conditions under which people work — and the health insurance that they get — are still not up to the level required. So, to ensure that working conditions improve and that workers are compensated fairly, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) program was introduced.
Over and above the NIOSH program, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has made it one of its premier goals to ensure the safety and health of workers and to alleviate occupational hazards of all kinds. Thanks to this initiative, not only have strict regulations been put into place but more and more awareness campaigns have been organized by partner organizations and groups to facilitate the awareness mission.
Hence, North American Occupational Safety and Health Week is commemorated in the first full week of May to build awareness and implement measures that ensure occupational safety and health for employees.
North American Occupational Safety and Health Week timeline
This society is formed when a handful of dedicated people unite to prevent life-threatening accidents in workplaces.
U.S. President Nixon becomes the first President since Lincoln to enforce laws and practices that ensure the well-being of workers.
This act is passed and obliges employees to provide their workers with a safe and secure workplace.
The first North American Occupational Safety and Health Week is celebrated.
North American Occupational Safety and Health Week FAQs
Which countries participate in North American Occupational Safety and Health Week?
There are three participating nations: the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
What are some occupational health and safety procedures?
Ensure that equipment is used properly and that emergency exits are never blocked. Keep workplaces as tidy as possible and report any safety concerns as they arise. Ensure that members of staff take regular breaks.
Is there any compensation for workers who get hurt or ill because of a workplace situation?
Yes, every U.S. organization is supposed to provide worker’s compensation to its employees in the event that any harm comes to them in the workplace.
How to Observe North American Occupational Safety and Health Week
Use this week to talk about occupational safety and health. Many people are not aware of their rights and continue working in unsafe workplaces just to make a living.
Organize an event at your office
Team up with the human resources department and organize an informative event. Teach about the benefits of ensuring the safety and health of the workers.
Arrange safety drills
It may be impossible to eliminate hazards, but it’s not impossible to reduce them. Organize some fire drills or training for your colleagues so that they know what to do in stressful situations.
5 Important Facts About Occupational Safety And Health
Millions of deaths every year
Every year, more than 2,000,000 people die as a result of workplace-related accidents.
The inspection timeframe
It would take 84 years to inspect the working conditions and safety measures taken by every company in the U.S.
Just 2,238 inspectors to do the work
The Council for Occupational Safety and Health is reported to be understaffed, with only 2,238 inspectors available to inspect all 50 states.
The First Act was passed in 1970
The first-ever act that enforced labor protection and safety was passed in 1970 by President Nixon.
A death every 15 seconds
Somebody in the world dies every 15 seconds as a result of a workplace-related injury or disease.
Why North American Occupational Safety and Health Week is Important
Every life matters
The people who work for big companies are as important as anyone else. Their well-being and health are as important as that of the company’s owner and management team. The entire system of mistreating members of staff needs to be stopped.
Organizations can benefit from safe and healthy workers
Safe and healthy workers mean a strong, healthy workforce. A strong workforce means proper efficiency and effective business operations. By investing in the safety and health of employees, the organization is investing in its sustainable future.
Simply to make our workplaces better
When we are to work somewhere, we make sure there are no hazards or risks of getting injured. We need to think the same way for those working for us. In general, workplaces should be made safe and conducive to work. With the fear of getting hurt while working looming over workers’ heads, they won’t perform to their full potential.
North American Occupational Safety and Health Week dates