Air Force, OSHA team up to focus on workplace health, safety programs

The Department of the Air Force is collaborating for the fourth year with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration during the Safe + Sound Week national campaign, which recognizes successes in workplace health and safety programs. This year’s Safe + Sound Week runs Aug. 9-15, 2021.

In a recent memo to major command and field command leadership, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Mark Correll stated, “As the Designated Agency Safety and Health Official for the Department of the Air Force, I am encouraging participation in DAF events that align with the upcoming OSHA Safe + Sound national campaign.”

Safe + Sound Week began in 2018 as a joint effort between seven safety organizations. To encourage and support every workplace in building safety and health programs. There are three core elements including management. Leadership and worker participation that help develop an effective approach to finding and fixing hazards before they happen.

“This campaign is about helping workplaces develop effective safety and health programs so that every worker goes home to their loved ones safe and sound every day,” said Andy Levinson, Acting Director of the Directorate of Standards and Guidance for OSHA. “The foundation of any effective safety program starts with prioritization by leadership and meaningful worker participation.”

“Workers are the most valuable resource in businesses, not only because they are doing the work. Also because they can help identify the hazards and develop solutions. All workers want to have a voice and provide meaningful input. On an important topic like safety because the skin in the game is literally their own,” said Levinson. “Employers can show workers they care by engaging them in meaningful ways so the workplace is a place they want to be.”

The DAF and the Air Force Safety Center encourage participation in this year’s Safe + Sound Week. To assist units with building and maintaining their programs, AFSEC has provided guidance, posters and program materials. Additionally, OSHA’s webpage has a variety of downloadable materials available to support building new safety and health programs for any size organization. No company or organization is too small to have a program in place to safeguard their employees.

Units that sign up to participate in Safe + Sound Week. Will receive two participation certificates, one from the DAF and one from OSHA. Additionally, they can earn up to five virtual coins for the activities they complete, four from OSHA and the fifth from the DAF.

Signing up is as easy as going to the Air Force Safety Center’s Safe + Sound website at www.safety.af.mil/Divisions/Occupational-Safety-Division/Safe-Sound/, clicking on the “Share Your Safety Successes” banner and sending contact information along with how the unit participated.

The 2021 Safe + Sound Week participation coin is available once the unit registers and completes a challenge. The Take 3 in 30 Challenge coin focuses on management leadership while the Check on Safety Challenge. Coin focuses on finding and fixing hazards before they happen. Additionally, a Worker Participation coin will be available in the fall once OSHA issues the challenge.

The first virtual challenge coin was created in 2019 to encourage friendly competition in the campaign. OSHA has seen an increase in participation of more than 20 percent through this method.

In 2020, OSHA’s data also showed that the Safe + Sound Week campaign reached 1.9 million workers. Also provided safety and health resources to the 3,452 businesses that held events. Businesses from 50 U.S. states and 51 countries participated and 68,590 participants received weekly safety and health messages. Since 2018, there has been an increase of almost 50 percent in the campaign. The amount of partnerships has increased by more than 10 percent.

“I appreciate your continued leadership, support and commitment to a safe and healthy workplace for our Airmen and Guardians,” Correll said.

Supporting materials and information can be found on the Safety Center’s Safe + Sound webpage.

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