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In 1996, the National Safety Council (NSC) made June “National Safety Month” in the U.S., with the goal of increasing public awareness of the leading safety and health risks that increase during the hot summer months. The NSC also wanted to help decrease the number of injuries and deaths at homes and workplaces.
Fast-forward to 2021 and while the basic foundational elements of National Safety Month have remained intact, the world has changed quite a bit over the last 25 years. For example, the global pandemic has put safety in and out of the workplace top-of-mind for most of the world. This year, the NSC and other government agencies that support National Safety Month are focusing their attention on mental health, ergonomics, building a culture of safety, and driving.
The key themes that NSC is presenting for this year’s event include: Prevent Incidents Before They Start, Address Ongoing COVID-19 Safety Concerns, It’s Vital to Feel Safe on the Job, and Advance Your Safety Journey.
“As organizations navigated the biggest workplace safety hazard in a generation, traditional safety risks never paused, and far too many people did not make it home to their loved ones at the end of their day,” NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin told Safety + Health magazine. “This year, we aim to inspire and support the EHS (environmental health and safety) community to make people’s lives safer on and off the job.”
5 Steps to a Strong Safety Culture
Known for its strong safety culture and positive safety track record at facilities worldwide , DB Schenker takes the safety and security of its global workforce very seriously. “Our goal is to create a safe, inviting environment for people to work in,” said Michael Fahy, EVP of contract logistics. “We do that by not only addressing immediate, COVID-related concerns, but also by using safe operating practices at all of our facilities, all the time.”
These are important points for the modern workforce, where hesitancy to return to the physical workplace is keeping some from realizing their career aspirations. Ready to help assuage these fears and instill a level of confidence both in its new hires and veteran team members, DB Schenker adheres to these safety-related principles:
- It all starts with safety. From the meetings that take place on the shop floor to the safety guidelines in its warehouses to the actions taken at an executive level, DB Schenker’s culture lives and breathes safety. “We encourage everyone to be attentive and report on anything that may fall outside the lines of our safety guidelines,” said Fahy. “We also have an open-door management policy that supports this level of reporting. We’re extremely proud of our safety record and want to maintain it.”
- Kick off the day with a safety moment. Fahy starts every one of his leadership meetings with a safety moment, or a quick discussion on a safety-related topic of interest to the group. Those messages are then shared with the rest of the workforce, which gains awareness of different ways to work and operate in a safe manner through these valuable interactions.
- Weave safety into the company’s cultural fabric. Understanding that logistics, freight, and transportation can all pose potential safety risks when not approached properly, DB Schenker takes the time to ingrain a culture of safety into its operations. It also infuses that safety culture into team members’ lives, knowing that getting home safe every night is a key priority for truck drivers, contract logistics workers, administrative staff, and everyone else who is working to serve DB Schenker’s worldwide customer base.
- Keep it consistent. At many of DB Schenker’s facilities, associates work with material handling equipment, drive lift trucks, and operate heavy machinery. “There’s a lot of equipment moving through our facilities at any time,” said Fahy. To ensure a high level of safety at those sites, the company issues high-visibility vests to employees, ensures ample walkway space between equipment, and utilizes pre-equipment checklists that are reviewed prior to operating any equipment. Fahy said he’s continually pleased to see how seriously team members take these guidelines.
- Make it fun. Corporate initiatives always work best when participation is fun, and for this year’s National Safety Month DB Schenker rolled out a campaign meant to remind associates of the importance of workplace safety. The contest is open to employees and their children and features a full lineup of fun prizes and rewards.
As a global organization that has roughly 72,000 team members operating around the world, DB Schenker understands that many of its associates, customers, and business partners will spend this year’s National Safety Month managing the ongoing impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Knowing this, the company is following all pandemic guidelines put in place by the CDC and following safe workplace protocols.
An enjoyable place to work, DB Schenker provides ample career opportunities for a wide range of skillsets and competitive compensation packages. “We work hard to create new opportunities and a great career path for our associates,” Fahy concluded, “and for new recruits that really want to advance, grow, and develop within their organizations.”