State of Illinois

08/06/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/06/2020 10:52

Illinois Department of Labor Promotes Safe and Sound Week

SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) is joining with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in highlighting safety and health programs during Safe and Sound Week - August 10-16.

The nationwide event is held each August to recognize the successes of workplace health and safety programs and offer information and ideas on how to keep America's workers safe.

'Health and safety are key concerns for IDOL and its Illinois OSHA program year round, and the Safe and Sound Week is an excellent opportunity to highlight how vital it is for public agencies and private businesses to develop health and safety programs to protect their employees,' said IDOL Director Michael Kleinik.

Safe and Sound Week encourages organizations and businesses to create comprehensive health and safety programs. It's also a chance to showcase existing health and safety programs.

Despite vast improvements in health and safety, more needs to be done. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the rate of worker deaths and reported injuries in the United States has decreased by more than 60 percent in the past five decades since the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed. However, every year, more than 5,000 workers are killed on the job (a rate of about 14 deaths per day), and more than 3.6 million suffer a serious job-related injury or illness.

IDOL's Illinois OSHA division offers an on-site consultation program designed to identify potential hazards and recognize existing precautionary measures your company is already taking to keep your workplace safe. The program does not penalize but rather seeks to collaborate with businesses to improve worker health and safety. More information is available here: https://www2.illinois.gov/idol/Laws-Rules/safety/Consultation/Pages/ConsultationProcess.aspx

Even if your organization or company is not ready to implement a comprehensive health and safety program, OSHA offers common-sense recommendations aimed at improving health and safety at the workplace.

• Establish safety and health as a core value.
Stress that everyone who comes to work should go home safely at the end of the day. Pledge to find and fix any hazards that pose health or safety concerns.
• Lead by example
Leaders and managers should practice safe behaviors and make safety a part of daily conversation with workers.
• Implement a reporting system
Develop and communicate a simple process for reporting injuries, illness, incidents and hazards with without fear of retaliation. Include an option for anonymous complaints.
• Provide training
Train workers on how to identify and control hazards in the workplace and to report hazards, incidents, injuries and illnesses.
• Conduct inspections
Inspect the workplace along with employees and ask them to point out hazards, always emphasizing the importance of safety.
• Collect and Implement Hazard Control Ideas
Involve employees for ideas on improvements and follow up on their suggestions.
• Address Emergencies
Identify foreseeable emergency scenarios and develop instructions on what to do in each case. Discuss the procedures with employees and post them in a highly visible location.
• Seek Input Before Making Workplace Changes
Before making significant changes to the workplace, consult with employees to identify potential safety or health issues.
• Improve the Program
Meet regularly with employees to discuss health and safety issues with the goal of improving your plan.

For more information on OSHA's 2020 Safe and Sound Week, visit the official website at: https://www.osha.gov/safeandsoundweek/

For more information on Illinois OSHA, please visit our website: https://www2.illinois.gov/idol/Laws-Rules/safety/Pages/default.aspx