National Safety Month is Upon Us

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Engineer

National Safety Month kicks off next week with the start of June.

The National Safety Council identifies topics for each week of National Safety Month, giving companies like yours a framework for refocusing on safety practices and helping equip employees for safe behavior both on and off of the job.

Here are the weekly safety topics for June:

  • Week 1: Prevent prescription drug abuse
  • Week 2: Stop slips, trips and falls
  • Week 3: Be aware of your surroundings
  • Week 4: Put an end to distracted driving
  • Bonus Week 5: Summer safety

Safety is a top priority for everyone serving the construction, industrial and MRO industries, whether you’re a manufacturer, contractor, distributor or marketing communications agency. You’re probably already aware that safety is important and should be practiced all year long, but take June to refocus and improve your safety initiatives.

To follow or join the conversation on social media, use the hashtag #NSM14.

Check out to learn more or request materials.

Have a safe June (and beyond)!

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Build Safety Knowledge on Construction Safety Day

Following is a guest post about Construction Safety Day from James White from Maxwell Systems.

We all know that safety comes first, but sometimes that isn’t enough. In construction, safety should come first, second and third. That is what the 7th annual Construction Safety Day is all about. One of the most important aspects of the construction industry is understanding the dangers involved and knowing how to remain cautious and safe at all times. During Construction Safety Day, that understanding and knowledge will be at the forefront of every activity and discussion. If we want to make the construction industry safer, the insight that can be gained during Construction Safety Day is a great place to start.

Who, What, When, Where and Why

On April 23, this year’s Construction Safety Day is taking place at the Washington State Fair Events Center in Puyallup. With the priority of keeping everyone in the construction industry safe, this conference will include exhibits, equipment displays and demonstrations among other activities. Just like last year, Construction Safety Day is being put on by Washington’s Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Advisory Board. And in the name of making the entire industry safer, many construction companies are sponsoring the event, such as the following:

  • Korsmo Construction
  • Hoffman Construction Company
  • Teknon
  • Lakeside Industries, and more

What to Expect

With construction picking up again, learning how to prevent injuries is becoming more and more important. That is why we can expect this year’s Construction Safety Day to be an extension of last year’s event. The 2014 Construction Safety Day will introduce and explain the newest injury-prevention techniques, as well as demonstrate the safest ways to utilize new equipment and vehicles. Attendees will also learn proper leadership and communication behaviors to further protect everyone involved within the construction industry. This year’s Construction Safety Day is also likely to include a catered lunch and prize drawings.

Safety in the Construction Industry

The first step in making the construction industry safer is to understand what the biggest threats to everyone’s health are. That is why Viewpoint wants to remind people within the construction industry of the dangers of the job. For instance, the Safety in the Construction Industry graphic breaks down the “fatal four” reasons for deaths within the industry by showing falls were the sole reason for 36 percent of all construction deaths in 2012. Understanding that danger and knowing the risks can encourage people to both be cautious and create new ways to prevent falling.

Another key point of the Safety in the Construction Industry graphic is that nearly 20 percent of all work-related deaths came from the construction industry. Making that shocking number more well-known is the best way to get more people involved in taking action to lower it. The graphic also breaks down the most dangerous types of construction. Gaining the knowledge that 48 percent of construction industry deaths occurred within specialty trade between 2003 and 2012 is the most by far can help people understand where we need to attack safety ignorance in order to prevent deaths. While becoming more educated on the dangers of the construction industry will not automatically make it safer, it is a great first step that has the potential to spur action and raise necessary awareness.


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A Powerful Story

Today we have a post from Rachel Kerstetter, Sonnhalter’s PR Engineer.

Working in public relations gives me the opportunity to tell stories. I get to tell stories about company histories, professional successes, how products came into being, etc.

Stories are a powerful tool in getting messages across. I’ve been thinking about safety since June is National Safety Month and one powerful story stood out to me. Here’s the headline:

Laborer Dies in Trench Collapse and Lives to Tell the Tale

It compelled me to read further and it brought me to a more in-depth account of Eric Giguere’s story about how not focusing on safety cost him his life and the tough decisions that those around him had to make, which ultimately brought him back.

That article is here.

Basically his team had been working in an unsupported trench without incident for quite some time, then it unexpectedly collapsed and buried him. The people around him had to make tough decisions about how to dig him out and then administered CPR.

One of Eric’s statements about safety stuck with me: “I’m a guy who got comfortable doing things the wrong way.”

By not taking the proper safety precautions, they were saving time on the project. But the cost was great.

Eric’s story is powerful and carries more weight than statistics can. It’s not a horror story to scare people into following the rules rather, it’s a lesson in consequences for taking short cuts and an example of tough decisions, made quickly in a time of crisis.

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