State labor department highlights ‘Safe and Sound Week’
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) – The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL), along with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), will promote health and safety programs during Safe and Sound Week, August 9-15.
The national event happens every August to acknowledge workplace health and safety programs, offer information and plans to keep workers safe.
“Every day, the health and safety of workers are primary concerns for both IDOL and OSHA. Safe and Sound Week is a great opportunity to show why it’s necessary for private businesses and public agencies to have health and safety programs in place,” IDOL Director Michael Kleinik said.
Safe and Sound Week provides a platform for groups and businesses to be proactive about identifying and managing hazards in the workplace. It’s also a chance to see which health and safety programs are working, according to the Illinois Department of Labor.
Illinois OSHA provides free and confidential on-site safety and health advice. It will identify hazards and offer recommendations to eliminate potential dangers. While not penalizing employers upon inspection, the program schedules an agreed upon correction period. More information can be found here.
Employers that go above and beyond can join an elite group of small businesses that have attained SHARP status as part of the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. More details about SHARP can be found here.
Some businesses may not be ready for a comprehensive health and safety consultation.
• Make health and safety a core value: Stress that everyone goes home safely at the end of the day and commit to finding and fixing hazards. Practice safe behaviors and discuss making safety a priority.
• Provide training and reporting systems: Teach workers how to identify, report and mitigate hazards. Have a simple process, which can be anonymous, for reporting incidents, injuries, illness and hazards.
• Conduct inspections: Work with employees to recognize hazards and potential emergencies.
• Execute hazard controls: Involve employees regarding improvements and follow up on suggestions.
• Gather input before making changes: Work with employees to improve health and safety issues. Hold regular meetings aimed at enhancing your safety plan.
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