June 2023: National Safety Month

June 2023: National Safety Month

June is recognized as National Safety Awareness Month in the United States, dedicated to raising awareness about important safety issues in the workplace. It was established by the National Safety Council (NSC), a non-profit public service organization committed to eliminating the leading causes of injury across various industries. According to the NSC, preventable injuries and accidents are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. This year’s event spotlights four crucial safety topics often overlooked. Celebrate June National Safety Month by highlighting these issues in your workplace.

Week 1: Emergency Preparedness

The first week will focus on helping companies prepare for natural and man-made disasters, including extreme temperatures, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, and major storms that can lead to power outages, disrupting public services. With the increasing impact of climate change, these events are becoming more prevalent across large regions of the country. According to, there were 61,105 weather-related events resulting in 974 deaths and 1,667 injuries in 2021 alone.

To ensure readiness, the NSC recommends having at least one staff member who knows first aid and CPR on hand at all times in case someone needs it. Employers are also encouraged to use public resources such as the FEMA app to monitor major storms in the area and assess the risk associated with different environmental hazards. The company should also have a communication plan so employees can evacuate the premises and make arrangements to protect themselves and their loved ones. Prepare for potential power outages by installing backup generators in case of a storm.

Week 2: Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slips, trips, and falls are preventable, yet they still occur frequently in the workplace. To mitigate risk, companies should avoid having their employees work on elevated surfaces if possible, or in slippery areas unless absolutely necessary. The safety manager should seek alternative solutions whenever possible. In cases where alternatives are not feasible, workers need to wear the proper safety equipment to protect themselves from injury. Everyone using this equipment must receive the proper training.

Workers can wear footwear with additional traction designed for slippery surfaces to prevent slips. Guard rails can also be used for extra stability. They should be set up along the edge of the elevated surface, if possible, to protect workers from falling. Signs should be posted around slippery surfaces, so workers can avoid these areas.

Workers need to wear a properly fitted and secure hard hat when operating at heights above six feet. All workers must be tethered to the elevated surface with a harness and lanyard to protect them in case of a fall. Employers need to measure the fall distance and select the right anchor point to ensure the harness effectively catches the worker if they fall. The team also needs a rescue plan to promptly retrieve and safely return any fallen worker to the ground within 15 minutes or less to avoid suspension trauma.

When working at height, tool tethering should be a common practice at the worksite. Workers below the elevated surface must also wear hard hats to protect themselves from falling debris. Abide by the manufacturer’s guidelines when using additional fall protection equipment and regularly inspect it to ensure it’s not damaged or in poor condition that can jeopardize workers’ safety.

Week 3: Heat-Related Illness

As temperatures rise across the United States, employers must prioritize the well-being of their team by minimizing exposure to extreme heat when working outdoors. To prevent heat-related illnesses, workers should refrain from outdoor activities during the hottest hours of the day, typically between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. They should also work in the shade whenever possible to limit their exposure to the sun. Everyone should have access to sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher), bug spray, and water to stay hydrated. Workers should reapply sunscreen every 90 minutes.

Workers need to take breaks at least every two hours to get out of the sun and rest. It’s important to note that workers who are overweight, ages 65 or older, or suffering from underlying medical conditions may have increased challenges working outdoors. The company should also train workers to watch for warning signs of heat stroke, so they can get out of the sun as soon as possible. The safety manager will need to call 9-1-1 and administer CPR if necessary.

Week 4: Hazard Recognition

The final week emphasizes the importance of hazard recognition and reporting. Companies must establish a system for reporting and tracking workplace hazards for compliance purposes. Hazards should be remediated quickly to prevent injuries on the job. Regular workplace assessments should be conducted to identify potential hazards and adjust their operations as needed. All workers should be trained to deal with hazards with the proper safety gear. Equipment should be properly logged into the system and inspected before and after each shift to ensure it’s in good condition. Maintaining a safe distance while operating equipment, such as forklifts and motor vehicles, is crucial.

All employees should know how to report these hazards through the proper chain of command. They must be aware of the potential hazards, so they can recognize the warning signs as soon as they appear. The manager should choose safety equipment based on the task at hand while providing a range of sizes and styles that are easily accessible.

Workers should be encouraged to be present in the moment and aware of their surroundings. Nothing should block their vision or sound, so they can respond to hazards as they appear.

National Safety Awareness Month is all about protecting workers from preventable injuries. Everyone is responsible for keeping each other safe, but it all starts at the top. Employers should refer to these safety tips year-round to protect their workers from harm. 

May 30th 2023 PK Safety Team

Recent Posts