There’s no better way to promote workplace safety than by holding an annual employee safety fair. Even a small business on a tight budget can find a variety of educational, fun and relevant ways to promote safety and create a safer work environment. Assemble an event planning team and get started with a list of ideas that can make your fair an overwhelming success.
Review Occupational Safety and Health Administration accident logs or workers’ compensation claims to find the areas with the most claims. Call attention to these issues -- and advertise the fair -- by sponsoring a pre-event employee poster competition. Display posters in the days leading up to the fair and hold a company-wide vote on fair day. You can also incorporate common safety issues as a group or individually in games such as safety hangman, crossword puzzles and word scrambles.
Invite your local fire department and local non-profit organizations such as the American Red Cross to participate in the safety fair. Display your emergency action plan. Schedule periodic demonstrations on topics such as the procedure for using fire extinguishers, CPR, identification of workplace hazards and other topics specific to your business or industry. For example, St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana, invited the Missoula Police Department Explosive Ordinance Disposal team to train employees on mail-room bomb recognition. The EOD team displayed a variety of explosive materials and detonators and showed how a perpetrator might disguise a bomb.
Address health consequences such as carpal tunnel syndrome, hearing loss, muscle strains and other injuries that can result from lack of attention to workplace safety. Demonstrate the importance of good workplace economics and take orders for wrist rests and lumbar support chair cushions. Invite employees to participate in sessions focusing on stretching exercises and on developing the core muscle strength necessary to maintain good balance and flexibility. Demonstrate and provide handouts on correct lifting procedures.
Encourage employees to attend the fair and create ongoing awareness about workplace safety by purchasing inexpensive health- and safety-related prizes. When it’s appropriate -- and if your budget allows -- personalize giveaway merchandise with your company’s safety slogan. Health-related items might include jump ropes, handgrip exercisers, pedometers and water bottles. Safety-related items might include flashlights, LED key chains, safety glasses or goggles, lumbar support devices and anti-glare computer screens.