Halt a hazard in your workplace!

  • Published
  • By Lisa Gonzales
  • Air Force Safety Center

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will hold its annual Safe + Sound Week National Safety campaign on August 7th - 13th. The campaign began in 2017 as a joint effort between seven safety organization to encourage workplace safety and to assist companies in building and developing or maintaining safety and health programs.

The campaign consists of three core elements: Management and Leadership, Workers Participation, and a systematic approach to Finding and Fixing Hazards. Multiple challenges have been created within the elements and the supporting materials give organizations and their workers the tools they need to build or maintain safety and health programs. This year’s newest challenge is “Halt A Hazard” and falls within the Finding and Fixing Hazards element.

The Department of the Air Force has partnered with OSHA for the past six years in support of the Safe + Sound Week campaign by holding multiple contests and submissions received were highlighted on multiple social media platforms. The top three submissions were recognized by the Chief of Safety for the Department of the Air Force, Major General Jeannie Leavitt in a shout-out video, on social media and the Safe + Sound webpage. Air and Space Forces members from across the globe participated in this worthwhile campaign to help build awareness and focus on keeping their workplaces free of hazards.

The DAF encourages participation in the new “Halt A Hazard” challenge. By setting aside time during the Safe + Sound Week to work together, to identify hazards within the workplace and brainstorm to find solutions by using these controls: Elimination, Substitution, Engineering controls, Administrative Controls and Personal Protective Equipment. Those who participate will receive the OSHA and AFSEC virtual coins and be highlighted on social media and AFSEC's public page.

The DAF analyzed data for the last six-years, 2017 through 2022 and has seen a decrease of approximately 30% in on-duty mishaps. Of the 17 categories analyzed, there was a reduction of 44% in ten of the on-duty categories, unfortunately there is still work to be done to try to further reduce on-duty injuries.

Partnering with OSHA in the Safe + Sound Week National Safety campaign helps our Airmen and Guardians build awareness,” said William Walkowiak, chief of occupational safety for the Department of the Air Force. “My hope is that they will be more inclined to speak up if they see a hazard and take the initiative to fix it or tell someone who can fix it.”

Complacency can kill, as you can lose focus on the task at hand or taking the mentality of, “I’ve done this a million times. What can happen?” Airmen and Guardians must realize that safety needs to be a priority all the time; do a job hazard analysis if you are unsure of the risks involved. Safe + Sound Week is a perfect time to reexamine safety programs, continuously evaluate your surrounding workplaces for hazards and if you see a hazard don’t ignore it, fix it, or report it to someone who can.

If you See Something, Do Something … Live to be Lethal! Don't forget to share your workplace safety successes! 

For resources: https://www.safety.af.mil/Divisions/Occupational-Safety-Division/Safe-Sound/

Additional resources: https://www.osha.gov/safeandsound