MAY 7-13, 2023-NORTH AMERICAN OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH WEEK
North American Occupational Safety and Health Week, held in the first whole week of May, is an annual event to spread awareness about safety and health at the workplace and to ensure that systems that provide security and well-being of workers are brought in. Annually, the American Society of Safety Engineers (A.S.S.E.) and the Canadian Society of Safety Engineers (C.S.S.E) partner to re-evaluate their current occupational safety levels. They also aim to spread awareness of occupational health and safety. Resolutions are made every year to improve working conditions for employees as training is arranged with organizations vowing to ensure that every worker is safe.
NORTH AMERICAN OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH WEEK HISTORY
The Industrial Revolution, which began in the 18th century, witnessed the change our world underwent, from the old world order to the new world order, and laid the foundation for mass manufacturing and production today. However, this revolution would not be possible without the workers who worked under unsafe conditions.
It became customary for workers to suffer cruelty during the Industrial Revolution while working in dangerous places for excessive hours, a practice which has continued to date. According to statistics provided by various labor organizations, about three people out of 100 full-time workers fall victim to accidents or mishaps in the workplace.
The gap between blue-collar workers (laborers) and white-collar workers (office) has widened. This means that the conditions of work and the health insurance they get are still below the standard required; therefore, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) was introduced to ensure that working conditions are improved and that workers are remunerated fairly.
Beyond the NIOSH program, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has set its eyes on ensuring that the safety and health of workers are guaranteed, and all occupational hazards of all kinds are alleviated. This initiative has seen strict regulations and more campaigns organized by partners and organizations to facilitate awareness. Therefore, the North American Occupational Safety and Health Week is observed during the first week of May to create awareness and implement the measures initiated to ensure employees at the workplace enjoy occupational safety and health.
FIVE FACTS TO NOTE ABOUT OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
Accidents at the workplace cause more than 2,000,000 deaths annually
To inspect the working conditions and safety measures that every company in the United States has implemented, it would take up to 84 years.
With only 2,238 inspectors available for inspection in all 50 states in America, the Council for Occupational Safety and Health is reportedly understaffed.
President Nixon, in 1970, passed the first-ever labor protection and safety act.
Every 15 seconds, at least workplace-related death is recorded globally.
IMPORTANCE OF THE NORTH AMERICAN OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH WEEK
The whole system of maltreating workers must stop because every life matters. The health and well-being of workers in big companies are as important as that of the company’s owner and management team.
Safe and healthy workers constitute a strong workforce which means proper efficiency and effective business operations. Investing in workers' safety and health means investing in an organization's sustainable future.
In the same way, we ensure that there are no dangers or risks of getting injured in our places of work. We should also provide the same for those who work for us and make their work environments safe and healthy. Workers who fear getting hurt in an unsafe work environment will not give their best at work.