This year marks the 25th observation of National Safety Month! This annual campaign is led by the National Safety Council (NSC) and takes place every June with the goal of promoting safety in all areas of the community, including at home, on the road, at work, and every place in between.
To do our part, we want to discuss three ways that employers can help keep workers safe, healthy, and happy during this time and all year long.
Beat the Heat During Summer
While many look forward to spending more time in the sunshine during the summer, this time also poses additional risks to employees who predominantly work outdoors. Certain heat-related illnesses are common during the hot summer months, such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, sunburns, dehydration, or heat stroke. It’s important that employers and employees are able to identify the early signs of these conditions in order to prevent them from worsening.
Employees, especially those who work outdoors, should apply sunscreen in the morning and reapply every two hours. For additional protection, wear wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and loose clothing that doesn’t hold in heat. Workers should also be provided with cool, shaded areas where they can take breaks and stay hydrated throughout the day.
Focus on Mental Health
Now, more than ever, the importance of mental health is stressed across all areas of life and in the workplace. According to a 2016 report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), nearly one in five U.S. adults reported having a mental illness. Both mental illnesses and stress can negatively impact workers’ job performances, productivity levels, engagement, communication, and daily functioning.
A healthy work environment is one that ensures the well-being of employees by recognizing the importance of positive mental health and taking steps to adequately address any areas that need improvement. Workplace wellness programs can identify risks, provide resources and support to workers, and connect those struggling with the tools they need to address mental health illnesses.
Address Ongoing COVID-19 Concerns
Keeping people healthy on the job is just as important as keeping them safe. As more employees return to work following loosening COVID-19 restrictions, many are worried about what steps will be taken in order to reduce the potential spread of the virus on the job.
It’s important to address these concerns with all employees so that they feel comfortable in their work environments. Depending on the type of work setting or facility, employers should follow standard practices for cleanliness and hygiene at work, as well as local guidelines and those recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Additionally, employers should encourage employees to:
- Clean high-touch surfaces at least once a day
- Wash hands with soap and water frequently
- Stay home if they are sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues
- Keep hand sanitizer nearby at all times
If you’ve been injured at work, The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC will fight for you. Our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys have decades of legal experience advocating for those injured across Georgia and helping them obtain maximum benefits. You have our word that we will do everything in our power to help you, too.
Contact our firm at (770) 629-9321 to schedule a free consultation with our team.