June is National Safety Month 2020, an annual campaign organized by the National Safety Council (NSC). This year, there are four key talking points, each with a tie to workplace safety. In order to stay safer in your day-to-day life, it helps to know about the topics the NSC felt were worth discussing more closely this month.
Mental Health Difficulties
Far too often, people assume the only serious injuries are physical. The truth is that many people will suffer the most from a mental health difficulty that others cannot see. Millions of Americans live with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and many other mental health difficulties that challenge them each day.
The National Safety Council would like to remind you to treat your mental health and that with others with respect. Emotional and mental trauma are real concerns that require real attention and care to overcome. When you see your primary care physician, please feel encouraged to speak to them about any mental health concerns you are experiencing. They may recommend you to a psychologist or therapist within your network.
Ergonomics in the Office
When you complete the same action again and again, it can start to cause stress, strains, sprains, and soreness, even if the action is slight and requires little effort. An injury suffered due to continually doing the same thing is called a repetitive stress injury or RSI. Office workers tend to experience repetitive stress injuries more often than workers in other career fields due to the naturally repetitive natures of their jobs. For example, one of the most common RSIs is rheumatoid arthritis, which can cause chronic wrist pain due to long hours of typing and using a computer mouse.
Ergonomic office supplies can help prevent RSIs, though. An ergonomic product is one that is designed to be comfortable during continual or repetitive use. Keyboards, computer mice, office chairs, and more can all be ergonomically designed to help stop RSIs.
If you do not have ergonomic products in your office, then you might want to talk to your employer about upgrading to them. Comfortable office workers are more productive, which is something your employer should be happy to hear.
Building a Safety Culture at Work
Safety needs to be inherent to a workplace for employees to be as safe as they can be. Acting safely as an instinct, rather than through conscious efforts, is integral to building a safety culture at work.
The National Safety Council encourages all workers this month to talk about how safety can be improved around their workplace and what can be done to make it second nature to be safe. Sharing your thoughts about safety with your coworkers is a good place to start. You can compile observations from all employees to see what appears to be the most dramatic and frequent safety issues that your employer needs to know about and fix.
Driving Safely is Always a Hot Topic
Lastly, the NSC has put the spotlight on safe driving once again. Tens of thousands of Americans die each year in fatal car accidents, and many more are severely injured. It is always the right time to think about how you can drive safer tomorrow than you do today.
A good start is considering ways you can ensure you are not tempted to use your smartphone while driving. You can put your phone in the glove compartment or backseat where you cannot reach it while driving. Other drivers prefer to use an app that locks the phone entirely while it is in motion. Some insurance companies offer similar apps that will save you money on your monthly premium if it detects that you have been driving responsibly. Every little thing you do to drive safer makes a big difference.