It starts with me: June is National Safety Month
Mary Jo Castruccio
Every year, June is declared National Safety Month by the National Safety Council. The objective of National Safety Month is to create a heightened awareness that “safety starts with me” to reduce the most significant reasons for unintentional injuries and deaths in the American workplace, on the road and in the home and community.
The board of supervisors recognizes the importance of increasing the awareness about safety to create a safer workplace and sustain the ability of workers to be productive. Thus, the Nevada County Safety Committee was established to help accomplish this goal. The committee is comprised of 40 individuals who each represent a department or agency in the county. The committee meets monthly to keep up with safety issues, become educated and help apply best safety practices within our departments.
As an employer, Nevada County cares deeply about the well-being of its employees and wants to set an example of excellence in safety for the community. This year, the Safety Committee is adopting the themes for the month as suggested by the NSC through a number of different activities throughout the county. Modern safety management has established techniques and equipment designed to prevent injuries and illnesses in the work place, and it is proven that the consistent application of this science does indeed prevent injury and illness. As part of our safety campaign, each week the committee will highlight a different safety theme, including slips/trips/falls, employee wellness, emergency preparedness and driving safety. Tables will be set up in the lobby of the Eric Rood Administrative Center featuring informational brochures and posters.
Employees are the most valuable asset in providing service to the community, and the economic downturn further underscores the necessity to ensure a fully productive workforce through effective risk-management practices. The mission of Nevada County’s Risk Management division is to protect county (i.e., public) assets and public service capabilities against the financial consequences of accidental losses; to minimize the cost of activities related to the identification, prevention and control of accidental losses and their consequences; and to establish, to the extent possible, an exposure-free work and service environment in which county personnel and members of the public can enjoy safety and security in the course of their daily pursuits.
Nevada County employees have regular training on the use of fire extinguishers; CPR/first aid; how to prevent workplace injuries, such as learning proper lifting techniques; ergonomics for the office and driving on snow and ice, to name a few. These efforts and others significantly help in reducing accidents and injuries.
“Safety Starts with Me” means that successful organizations engage everyone in safety and create a culture in which people feel a personal responsibility, not only for their own safety, but for that of their co-workers, family and friends. It is the responsibility of the employer to provide safety training and ensure that every employee knows how to do his job in the safest and most efficient manner possible. While leadership from the top is important, creating a culture in which there is a sense of ownership of safety by all makes everyone in the organization a safety leader. Therefore, the power of safety lies within each of us to gain the best safety knowledge and to actively practice safety at whatever level we work.
Nevada County urges each of us to include safety as an integral component of every task and of every job so that each of us can go home to our friends and family healthy and uninjured at the end of each work day.
Mary Jo Castruccio is the Nevada County risk manager.
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