It’s that time of year again: People are spending more time outdoors enjoying the warm summer weather, and families across the country are traveling while school is out of session. It’s also the season to tackle outdoor jobs, both big and small, while the weather permits. More roads are repaired, roofs are replaced, and pipes and sewers are inspected and repaired.
With an increase in the number of workers completing these jobs outside during the summer comes an increase in the number of injuries and deaths taking place in the workplace. In fact, the highest numbers of work-related injuries occur during the months of June, July and August, according to reports by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The National Safety Council declares the month of June National Safety Month annually, with a mission of eliminating preventable deaths at work, in homes and across communities.
This year, each week in June will focus on a different safety topic, including hazard recognition; slips, trips and falls; fatigue; and impairment. These topics apply to workers in all fields, but those actively working to maintain critical infrastructure, like pipes and sewers, encounter traffic risks, biohazards, and the dangers that come with excavating and trenching on a daily basis.
Contractors, who often work long days on tight schedules, may also be at a greater risk of injury or death related to fatigue—working overtime to complete as many projects as they can during the short summer season. It’s crucial to be aware of the potential risks highlighted this month, and those that arise throughout the year.
The National Safety Council is offering free materials, which can be downloaded and shared, to help you identify risks and keep employees in your organization safe. The materials are broken down into each week’s topic and include a tip sheet, social media graphic and links to related articles. You can also take the pledge to be “SafeAtWork.”
There is no such thing as being too prepared, so taking a few extra steps to ensure the safety of your team can save lives. In addition to the materials linked above, check out the free pack of sewer safety posters from Envirosight, PRT’s sister company.