So much of what makes our nation great ties back to the labor of American workers across a wide range of industries. From construction to farming, technology to production lines, it is the workers who truly keep our country running. North American Occupational Safety and Health Week is an excellent opportunity to remember the often unheralded time and effort that workers put in, and to highlight the importance of providing and maintaining a safe workplace for those men and women to do their jobs.
What is North American Occupational Safety and Health Week?
This annual event was designed to raise awareness of issues related to worker safety, as well as health and environmental issues related to the workplace. In its current form, the event began back in 1997, after an agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico. Collaboration during discussions around the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) prompted labor department officials from each nation to promote and protect worker safety. Canada had been observing their own form of Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Week since 1986.
How is the Event Celebrated in America?
Each year, events are held across the country to highlight issues related to worker health and safety. Examples include demonstrations of ergonomic practices within the workplace, personal protective equipment fashion shows, courses on teen worker safety issues and even Habitat for Humanity builds. Some corporations sponsor their own events, while others are held in partnership with OSHA. North American Occupational Safety and Health Week always begins on Sunday of the first full week in May.
What are Some of the Most Pressing Workplace Safety Issues?
Each and every work place has its own safety concerns, and some occupations are inherently more dangerous than others. Some of the more common safety issues include a lack of protective elements such as railings or shields, equipment that is poorly maintained or improperly used and work areas with inadequate lighting or unmitigated environmental hazards. The most important function of workplace safety initiatives is protecting the health and wellness of the workforce. That said, there are plenty of other negative effects that follow a workplace injury, such as reduced production, the need to stop operations and address safety violations and potential fines and other punitive measures.
As North American Occupational Safety and Health Week approaches, readers are encouraged to take a moment and thank the men and women that support the many industries in and around Greenville, North Carolina. These workers and the jobs that they perform are often overlooked, and giving a simple word of thanks can go a long way toward letting them know that they are appreciated and valued, which is yet another important aspect of North American Occupational Safety and Health Week.
I’m Brian Ricci, a workers’ compensation attorney in Greenville, NC. No one plans to be injured at work, but unfortunately it is and all too common event. If you or someone you know has been injured at work, please call me at please call me at (252) 777-2222 or (888) 484-6881 for free, friendly advice.
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