As the situation in Ukraine evolves, businesses should be mindful of potential risks to their people, assets, operations, or supply chains in the region and globally. Marsh, as part of the Marsh McLennan family of companies, has created a page with information, tools, and resources related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Please visit the page for the latest information.

August 18, 2022

Safe + Sound Week

Focusing on a job done safely

Successful safety and health programs can proactively identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, keeping employees safe and elevating overall safety culture. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of worker deaths and reported injuries in the United States has decreased significantly in the decades since the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 passed. However, every year, more than 5,000 workers are killed on the job (a rate of 14 per day) and more than 3.6 million suffer a serious job-related injury or illness.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Safe + Sound initiative is a year-round campaign to encourage workplaces to develop and improve their safety and health program. This year, OSHA is placing an emphasis on the importance of this initiative during Safe + Sound Week 2022, which occurs from August 15–21. The program focuses on three main elements that make up a successful health and safety program: management leadership, worker participation, and finding and fixing hazards.

Management leadership looks at management’s overall commitment and responsibilities to the health and safety program. When management leadership is sincere and is supported by concrete actions, workers know that safety and health are important to the success of the business. Below are some ways that management can demonstrate commitment to the program:

  • Developing and communicating written safety and health policies

  • Providing the resources needed for employees to work safely, such as training and personal protective equipment

  • Factoring safety and health into operational planning and decisions 

  • Recognizing or rewarding safety and health contributions and achievements

  • Leading by example and practicing safe behaviors while making safety part of daily conversations

Worker participation is important to the success of a safety and health program because employees often know the most about potential hazards associated with their jobs. When workers are involved in finding solutions, they feel invested in the program and are more likely to support the culture. Employees can participate in the program by:

  • Reporting incidents (including near misses) so they can be investigated

  • Working with management to analyze hazards associated with routine and non-routine jobs, tasks, and processes

  • Participating in site inspections and incident investigations 

  • Training current coworkers and new hires

Finding and fixing hazards looks at taking a systematic approach to identifying and controlling workplace hazards. A job safety analysis (JSA) is a technique used to identify the specific hazards associated with a job/task in order to reduce the potential for an incident or injury. A JSA consists of four basic steps:

  • Select a job/task analyze

  • Break the job/task into individual steps

  • Identify the specific hazards for each step

  • Identify the mitigations/corrective actions for each hazard

MMA’s JSA Development Guide can be found here to assist with this process. JSAs are a proactive approach that we can take to help ensure that hazards are identified before employees are injured.

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OSHA’s Safe + Sound week is a great way for employers to jump-start their safety and health programs. OSHA facilitates several safety-related webinars during Safe + Sound week to help educate employers on various topics that are important to safety culture. Past webinars include topics such as noise monitoring, managing heat stress, and industrial ergonomics.

A more comprehensive list of previous offerings as well as this year’s national events can be found on OSHA’s Safe + Sound website. The site also has a bank of downloadable resources to help your organization with safety walkthroughs, hazard identification, and increasing employee involvement.

For more information on how you can develop an effective health and safety program, contact your local Marsh McLennan Agency representative today.