National Public Health Awareness Week is April 1st through the 7th!
It’s time to start living your “best life!” You’ve probably heard that phrase on social media, or a television show, or even an advertisement. Living your best life can mean so many things and can vary from person to person. But, the idea is to live a life that is full, happy, and healthy. That’s why we are celebrating National Public Health Awareness Week!
Everyone deserves to live a healthy, happy life within a safe and nurturing environment. It’s time to get proactive in how we treat our minds and bodies. For this to be possible, it’s important to address the causes of poor health and disease, to make corrective changes to unsafe practices, and invest in personal growth as well as the growth of our households, workplaces, and communities. How we live, learn, work, and play affects each of us differently. But together, we can raise awareness about important health and safety measures that can improve our lives overall.
The workplace can be an advocate for positive change. Working together, employees and employers can begin to build healthier work environments and hold each other accountable to staying safe.
During National Public Health Week, consider turning your daily Safety Talks or ToolBox talks into an opportunity to discuss not only on-the-job safety but safety as it affects our day to day lives at home and in our personal lives. A few popular topics to discuss as part of National Public Health Week include:
- Healthy Workplaces and Healthy Communities: Create healthier communities by letting your workplace be an example. Use this week to expand on health-promoting opportunities such as organizing a flu shot clinic, encouraging employees to consider alternative transportation, or bike/walk to work (if safely possible). Work with local health educators to host a discussion day about the facts and prevention of common illnesses and injuries.
- Violence Protection: Did you know about one in four women and one in nine men experience some form of intimate partner violence, and one out of every six American women has been the victim of rape or attempted rape? Spend time discussing these topics with your employees. While not anyone’s favorite topic to discuss, the reality is these things can take place both at home and at work. Educate employees on the standards set by your workplace. Remind them of your organization’s code of conduct and inform them of the resources available meant to aid and prevent victims of these incidents.
- Technology: Mobile platforms and web-based programming are making it easier to share important safety news and keep up with modern safety trends for the workplace. Take some time to explore the many ways you can incorporate technology as part of your workplace safety plan. Gather employee feedback and determine their level of interest in participating in safety recognition programs, continuous improvement programs, and other safety training and learning opportunities.
- Environmental Factors: Our home, work, and community environments play a huge part in our overall health and safety. Discuss tips for improving home organization and important safety tips that can prevent accidents to children, pets, and other family members. Organize a “Hazard Hunt” and encourage employees to inspect work stations for unsafe conditions. Make an effort to improve and eliminate hazards as you find them. To improve environmental health, ask for a team of volunteers to work together on a community clean-up the project. Plant a garden, pick up trash and debris at a local park, or implement a recycling program for your workplace.
- Effect Change and Global Health: Find ways your organization can support continued funding and research for U.S. global public health efforts. Ask your employees which causes they are most passionate about and create opportunities for them to participate in fundraising and public awareness events for health programs such as family planning, children’s health, and safety, disease prevention and control, cancer studies, crime prevention, and more! A great way to wrap up National Public Health Awareness Week is to organize an event on World Health Day (April 7th). Find a local event that is meaningful to your organization’s employees and get involved. Allow them to participate in walkathons, fundraisers, and other events on that day!
National Public Health Awareness Week is about strengthening the health and safety of our communities. Many of the issues addressed during this week affect every one of us either at home or in the workplace. Your employees have a right to work in a healthy, safe, and supportive workplace. Consider using National Public Health Awareness week as an opportunity to discuss important health and safety initiatives that can improve workplace culture, strengthen relationships, and even save lives.
By participating in community events or creating events within the workplace for employees to benefit, you are sending a message of safety. You are telling your employees that you care. Your message of safety should have personal meaning and allow employees to reflect on the many reasons their health and safety is important. In the workplace, safety means fewer accidents, injuries, and deaths. It also attributes to lower workman’s compensation costs, reduced employee turnover, and higher production, and employee wellbeing.
But, safety is about more than just the bottom line benefits. It’s about personal values, individual life goals, and family. When we identify ways each of us can make a difference in the health and safety of our coworkers and families, we are solving problems, replenishing our minds and bodies, and working to live our best lives!