Safety In The Home

The last time I wrote about safety in the home with GAWDA members was in a Safety Topic dated September 2003. In that article, I discussed how important home safety is to you and your family, as well as its importance as an employer and employee in the American workplace. I encouraged you then, as I do now, to find a place in your safety process to incorporate safety away from work into your day-to-day communications with your workforce. I also suggested that you dedicate at least one safety meeting per year to an off-the-job, safety-related topic. You can still review the content of that September 2003 article in the GAWDA Safety Topic archives.

Why Home Safety Is Important
According to the Home Safety Council’s “State of Home Safety in America” report, there are an average of nearly 20,000 deaths and 21 million medical visits to doctors and hospitals due to unintentional injuries suffered each year in the home in the United States.

The same study shows that American businesses are significantly impacted by these home-related injuries costing the employer up to $38 billion in a single year.

“Home-related injuries not only affect the health and well-being of employees, but will impact a company’s bottom line due to lost productivity, absenteeism, as well as healthcare costs, “ says Home Safety Council President Meri-K Appy.

Based on the enormous cost associated with these off-the-job injuries and deaths that affect your employees and their families, you can and should take measures to promote home safety education with your employees and families. It’s not only cost-effective, but it’s the right thing to do.

How to Get Started
The Home Safety Council offers free turnkey home safety materials, tools and resources. Some of the materials have been designed specifically for businesses use. Their Web site, www.homesafetycouncil.org, offers comprehensive online centers for home safety articles, checklists, information, tips and other resources. A link on this Web site, “Home Safety Month,” provides direct access to other free tools and materials. Your “Safety Away from Work” program couldn’t be made any easier with the free material and tools made available on these Web sites.

This is a sample of some of the material that is available to you. Some of these materials are also available in Spanish.

Tools for the Workplace
  • Home Safety Month Poster
  • Newsletter-Ready Safety Articles
  • Plan a Safety Fair
  • Activity Tracker
For Your Employees
  • Complete a Hands-on Home Safety Checklist
  • Share a Home Safety Shopping List
  • Distribute Home Safety Brochures
  • Download a Home Safety Calendar
Children’s Activities
  • Classroom Lesson Plans
  • Children’s Activities and Games
  • Fire Escape Plan

Stay Safe
If this sounds like something that you think is worth getting involved in, you need to identify a responsible person in your organization who will be charged with moving the concept forward. That person will take the lead in incorporating an off-the-job safety element in your overall safety program. The tools and information needed to help raise the awareness and promote ideas and action to keep your employees and their families safe at home are at your fingertips.



Gases and Welding Distributors Association
Meet the Author
GAWDA OSHA & EPA Consultant Thomas W. Eynon is senior associate at B&R Compliance Associates LLC, based in Merritt, North Carolina. Members can reach him at (252) 745-7391 and at tom.eynon@brcompliance.com.