From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Continent-Wide Safety Week Kicks Off Today

New and young workers are this year’s focus for North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week, the North American continent-wide week devoted to preventing injuries and illnesses in the workplace.

Focusing on themes including “Prevention is Cure” and “Build a Safe Beginning,” NAOSH’s planned activities across Canada, the United States and Mexico include: increasing an understanding throughout the continent of the benefits of a strong investment in occupational health and safety; raising awareness of the role of safety and health professionals; and reducing workplace injuries and illnesses through health, safety and environmental activities.

According to a press release from the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), one of the organizing groups for the United States’ NAOSH week activities, businesses who make investments in workplace safety traditionally see an increase in profits, a decrease in injuries and improved efforts in job creation. Additional side effects of workplace health and safety initiatives like ergonomics include reduced absenteeism, lower turnover rates, greater worker productivity, improved employee morale, a positive company image and declining worker’s compensation costs.

“[I]f more [businesses] were aware of the fact that it makes good business sense to protect people in the workplace and by investing in safety, they would soon reap the rewards and realize job creation potential,” ASSE President James “Skipper” Kendrick, CSP said in a press statement. “Also, the cost of preventing work-related injuries and illnesses is usually far less than correcting them,” Kendrick continued.

NAOSH Week is a result of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and an offspring of the previous success of a Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Week. NAOSH Week has been observed annually since June, 1997. For 2004, NAOSH Week runs from May 2 through May 8.

More information on planned events and activities for NAOSH Week as well as tips for developing awareness throughout communities and the workplace are available at and