NAOSH Week: Spotlight on Health and Safety

For the past two decades, the three countries of North America have celebrated North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) week with a focus on preventing injury and illness in the workplace. GAI’s Health and Safety Director Bill Gourdie, CSP, CET offers more details about the week and how to get involved.

What is NAOSH Week?

Established in June 1997 with a signed agreement between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico, NAOSH Week raises awareness of the importance of occupational safety and health practices for workers around the world. Since then, the first full week of May has been designated NAOSH Week.

NAOSH Week is celebrated with joint activities offered throughout the three countries’ professional safety associations—the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE), the United States American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), and the Interdisciplinary Association of Occupational Health and Hygiene of Mexico.

NAOSH logoWith three hands forming an equilateral triangle, the NAOSH logo symbolizes Canada, the U.S., and Mexico in joint venture, cooperation, and commitment to the goals of occupational health and safety. The logo denotes the three-sided joint occupational health and safety venture, and all three-party partnerships between business, labor, and governments. In addition, this symbol exemplifies strong support and cooperation, ranging from interpersonal relationships in the workplace to international exchange.

The primary goals of NAOSH Week include:

  1. Increasing understanding of the benefits of investing in occupational safety and health
  2. Raising awareness of the role and contribution of occupational safety and health professionals
  3. Reducing workplace injuries and illnesses by elevating an understanding of new initiatives

How is NAOSH Week Recognized?

Individual ASSE members and local chapters typically schedule events where they can promote safety at work and at home. Activities can include:

  • Free safety seminars on common hazards, such as preventing vehicle accidents, presented to organizations like Rotary Clubs and Chambers of Commerce.
  • Presentations in schools to promote awareness of on-the-job safety for teen workers.
  • Partnerships with organizations like Habitat for Humanity to develop ways to protect volunteer workers.

Some chapters even have their local governments issue proclamations to endorse NAOSH Week.

Both CSSE and ASSE conduct annual poster and video contests for children ages 5-18. Winners receive cash awards and nationwide promotion via websites, recognition at annual professional development events, and sharing posters at the winning students’ schools and parents’ place of work.

How Can I Get Involved?

Here are some suggestions on how you can promote NAOSH Week in your office and community:

  • Become a NAOSH Week Champion.
  • Promote NAOSH Week in articles on a website or newsletter.
  • Share NAOSH Week awareness graphics and use the #NAOSHWeek hashtag on social media.
  • Host a public meeting on health and safety issues in your community.
  • Display NAOSH Week posters in your office, on bulletin boards, and at work stations.
  • Include NAOSH Week messages on your company’s intranet and in e-mails to staff.
  • Display a NAOSH Week banner/flag in a prominent location in your community.
  • Invite school classes to tour your business, highlighting basic safety features and the importance of working safely.

Find more event and activity suggestions and share news about your local events via the NAOSH website.

Bill GourdieAs Health & Safety Director, Bill Gourdie is responsible for spearheading initiatives that help GAI comply with all applicable health, safety, and environmental regulations; client requirements; and corporate policies and procedures in order to maintain the safest possible working conditions for all employees. He supports and advances GAI’s commitment to safety by coordinating the development, implementation, and continuous improvement of the company’s Safety & Health Program to enhance its effectiveness and improve performance results. Bill may be reached by phone at 412.399.5219.

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