Oregon OSHA coordinates this one-day event, designed to raise awareness and promote the value of workplace safety and health. The event is flexible to meet an employer's needs and health and safety activities are determined by individual employers. For ideas on how to participate, see the "Tools" page.
When workers return home safe to their families at the end of the day, workers' compensation and insurance costs are reduced, and productivity improves when workers know they are performing in a safe environment. Your community benefits by knowing that you are an employer who values safety.
Your commitment to having a safe workplace is communicated to your workers, their families and your community. The positive perceptions created about the value of workplace safety and health can yield many positive outcomes for future employee recruiting, sales opportunities, and new partnerships within an industry or a region. (See History)
Safety Break falls on the second Wednesday in May and events are held at worksites across the state.
In 2003 Oregon OSHA created Safety Break for Oregon, the one-day event, at the urging of industry leaders concerned about an increase in workplace deaths in the state during 2002.
Oregon companies enjoyed a steady decrease in employee deaths for more than a decade, hitting a record low of 34 in 2001 before jumping to 77 in 2002.
Oregon OSHA attributes the 2002 increase to the state's lagging economy, which resulted in some companies laying off employees in safety-related positions. But members of the business community, including construction companies, were concerned there were other factors involved.
At the request of business leaders, Oregon OSHA agreed to help organize and promote a day dedicated to safety awareness, urging businesses and government agencies to spend time involving employees in a conversation about safety.