Every June, we join the National Safety Council in celebrating and reinforcing our commitment to safety as part of National Safety Month. Observed annually, National Safety Month focuses on saving lives and preventing injuries both inside and outside the workplace. Historically, the National Safety Council chooses one main theme for the National Safety Month, but this year safety is approached in a more inclusive manner, particularly as communities adjust to different safety protocols and procedures because of the pandemic, focusing on safety in distinctive ways.
Workplace safety has taken on a new meaning, and together we are focusing on the four main areas of health, safety, and wellness identified by the National Safety Council that impact our lives: safety culture, ergonomics, driving, and mental health.
Building a Safety Culture
Building a positive safety culture is ongoing, created by the mindsets, attitudes, values, and behaviors of each individual at an organization. A strong safety culture is more than the sharing of a specific policy or procedure annually with employees but rather is built when individual team members take ownership of safety in the workplace.
At SitelogIQ, as part of our SafetyIQ program, each employee starts every day dedicated to reducing and eliminating injuries, hazards, and accidents while performing work at the office, at the jobsite or working remotely. We accomplish this mindset through ongoing training, reinforcement of safety practices, and the encouragement of reporting risks and hazards. Our aspiration is the safety mindset extends beyond the job and permeates into personal spaces as well, so our team members are safe not only at work but at home and on the road, too.
With the sudden national migration to work-from-home caused by the pandemic, ergonomics has been a popular topic of discussion for business leaders. Ergonomics is the applied science related to the design and arrangement of things people use to create efficiency and comfort for the user. Oftentimes, we think of ergonomics as how a workstation is designed – the height of the desk, the type of chair, and how things like a computer monitor and keyboard are positioned as to not cause the user fatigue or physical discomfort. Other factors, however, include excessive lifting and moving objects, repetitive motion, sitting, or standing for long periods of time and temperature extremes. To address ergonomic issues, the SitelogIQ Health and Safety Council recommends:
- Get close to what you are moving and be sure it is directly in front of you.
- Stabilize your core and keep your back as straight as possible.
- Balance your stance (feet wide apart).
- Keep your elbows hugging your sides.
- Keep your shoulders in a neutral position (not hiked up).
- Stabilize your arms/shoulders (they should not move).
- Do not reach forward or sideways with your arms (elbows near sides).
- Make sure your wrists are straight.
- Do not twist or bend your back (move your feet/hips & knees instead).
- Shift weight smoothly from one leg to the other as movement occurs.
Implementing ergonomic solutions at a workplace can decrease injuries, increase productivity, and lift company morale.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related deaths in the United States. The CDC also reports that workplace collisions cost employers more than $25 billion in 2013. Driving safe should be everyone’s priority whether driving a company or personal vehicle.
Many distractions occur while driving, but the biggest risk to safe driving is cell phones. The National Safety Council estimates that nearly 25% of all crashes can be attributed to cell phone use while driving.
In fact, researchers found the risk of having a traffic accident while using a mobile phone is the same as while driving drunk.
Driver safety guidelines at SitelogIQ include:
- Avoiding cell phone while driving – it can wait
- Avoiding changing lanes excessively
- Always using turn signals
- Maintaining a safe distance of at least three to four seconds from other vehicles
- Being aware of blind spots
- Minimizing driving distractions such as grooming, eating, drinking, and adjusting audio and temperature controls
Many people experience stress at some point during their career – tight deadlines, limited budgets, access to resources and work/life imbalance are all common stressors. Stress levels, though, have unarguably increased since the coronavirus emerged in early 2020, affecting the mental health of employees. While mental health may not immediately seem like a safety issue, the physical, psychological, professional, and financial stressors can affect employees’ ability to work safely. Stress leads to fatigue, low morale, anxiety, irritability, headaches, and difficulty concentrating, to name a few symptoms. Not addressing stress early can have severe consequences for both employers and employees.
At SitelogIQ, we believe that a safe work environment also includes a holistic approach to wellness, including mental health. Our team has free access to services like counseling, legal and financial consultations, ID recovery in the case of ID theft, an online health club “myStrength,” dependent care and daily living resources and crisis consultation. These resources are available to all employees, regardless if they are covered through the company healthcare plan.
Safety at SitelogIQ: SafetyIQ
We take pride in our corporate safety program, SafetyIQ, and the measures we have put in place to keep our people and our clients safe. The safety and health of all SitelogIQ employees is our number one concern and we encourage our team to take an active role in the ongoing development and enhancement of our safety policies and regularly make training available throughout the year. We are proud to celebrate National Safety Month with the National Safety Council and pledge to continue to work on safety practices year-round. Zero injuries – on and off the job.