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Oregon OSHA - 350 Winter Street NE Room 430 - Salem, Oregon 97301-3882
For Immediate Release
April 20, 2005
Contact for more Information:
Kevin Weeks, Public Information Officer, 503-947-7428

Safety Break for Oregon is May 11

Employers across the state are showing their support for workplace safety and health by participating in the Safety Break for Oregon on May 11th.

Oregon OSHA coordinates the one-day event, designed to raise awareness and showcase the value of workplace safety and health in preventing injuries and illnesses. This event is designed to be flexible and easily adapted to an employer's safety and health program needs.

"A concern that we hear is that employers don't want a complicated or difficult event," says Kevin Weeks with Oregon OSHA. "A Safety Break event does not need to be complex to be effective. There are some simple, effective ways to promote workplace safety and health, and recognize those people in your organization who are creating safer places to work one person at a time."

Information about this year's Safety Break, including graphics for employers to use in promoting the event, is available on the Oregon OSHA Web site, www.orosha.org.

Simple and Effective ways to add to your Safety Break:

  • Start 'em young on safety and health. The best time to teach positive messages about safety and health is during the younger formative years. 'Bring Your Child to Work Day' is April 28 - just a few days before the Safety Break. Why not have a coloring contest for the children of your employees and award prizes during the Safety Break on May 11?
  • Look for safety and health success at your business and celebrate! Provide recognition to people who are "Safety All-Stars" in your organization. The Safety Break on May 11th provides a great opportunity to present awards during a lunchtime event.
  • Incorporate safety into new employee orientation. The time to teach an employee the value of working safely is when they start working. Injury statistics for Oregon show the link between time on the job and the likelihood that an employee will be injured. One third of serious accidents occur during the employee's first year on the job; 10 percent of serious injuries occurred to a worker who was in their first MONTH at work. A commitment to training at the start reduces the risk of a worker becoming serious injured.
  • Focus on problem areas. Look at your organization's injury trends. Conduct "pick-up" meetings to identify safety concerns - these meetings should be about ten minutes to address safety issues and meet with staff about their concerns.
  • Demonstrate that safety and health is a value, not just a priority. Make sure that everyone, regardless of place in the organization, knows the safety regulations and follows them.
  • Talk about safety and health. Write a safety article for your newsletter. Post summarized safety statistics in the lunchroom or around the coffee maker. Talk directly to employees about workplace safety. Be visible. Remember that every interaction at your business is an opportunity to emphasize safety and health.
  • Follow the numbers. Find out from safety and risk management staff where injuries are occurring and discuss how to reduce them.
  • Safety Committees make a difference. Find out more about your safety committee - recognize great work done by the safety committee, including specific safety issues that have been corrected. Attend a safety committee meeting as a volunteer or guest speaker. Participate in a quarterly safety walk though inspection.

The Safety Break for Oregon is an important component of the "Safe Jobs, Smart Business" education and outreach campaign launched last year by the Department of Consumer and Business Services. The purpose of the campaign is to help employers plan ahead for working safely and reduce the cost of serious workplace accidents in Oregon.

For additional information about the Safety Break for Oregon or to let Oregon OSHA know about your Safety Break event, call (503) 947-7428.