Health and safety for workers is top-of-mind for today’s manufacturers. Use these US government resources to help protect and safeguard the workforce.
Create a safer work environment
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration addresses especially harmful hazards via its national and local emphasis programs.
National Emphasis Programs are temporary programs that focus on particular hazards and high-hazard industries. To learn about OSHA’s current National Emphasis Programs, visit www.osha.gov/enforcement/directives/nep.
Local Emphasis Programs are enforcement strategies designed and implemented at the regional office and/or area office levels. These programs address hazards or industries that pose a particular risk to workers in the office’s jurisdiction. To identify OSHA’s 10 regions and their Local Emphasis Programs, visit www.osha.gov/enforcement/directives/lep.
Address the opioid crisis
The National Safety Council offers a free “Opioids at Work Employer Toolkit” to explain the opioid crisis and help businesses support workers who may be affected by it.
- Understand opioids and how they impact the workplace
- Learn about opioid misuse and opioid use disorder
- Recognize signs of impairment
- Educate employees on the risks of opioid use
- Incorporate the right elements into drug-related HR policies and procedures
- Support employees who are struggling with opioid misuse or opioid use disorder
The toolkit includes sample policies, fact sheets, presentations, five-minute safety talks, posters, white papers, reports and videos for implementing a workplace program on opioids. Request a toolkit at https://safety.nsc.org/rxemployerkit.
Promote a drug-free workplace
The Department of Health and Human Services offers a comprehensive “Drug-Free Workplace Toolkit” to help manufacturers tackle substance misuse and abuse.
Businesses can use this toolkit to support workplace health and safety by creating and maintaining drug-free workplace policies and programs. These policies and programs may include preventing the misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; addressing substance misuse within the context of workplace health and wellness programs; and providing intervention services for employees. The toolkit, available at www.samhsa.gov/workplace/toolkit, includes resources to:
- Use workplace prevention basics to identify and prevent substance misuse in the workplace
- Build a team to develop a drug-free policy and program
- Assess the workplace to determine what kind of program is appropriate
- Develop a policy for a drug-free workplace program
- Plan and implement a drug-free workplace program
- Evaluate one’s program to assess how well it meets its objectives
- Provide education, training and support for employees
Create an active threat response plan
Manufacturers can be proactive with help from the Department of Homeland Security’s 12-page Emergency Action Plan Guide on Active Shooter Preparedness.
Organizations are encouraged to use this guide to document the initial steps toward creating an active shooter preparedness plan. This guide is not meant to replace an organization’s Emergency Action Plan. Rather, it is a tool that begins the plan development process.
Learn about active threat defenses against workplace violence
Consider Run, Hide, Fight as described on the Department of Homeland Security’s ready.gov website.
RUN and escape, if possible.
- Getting away from the shooter or shooters is the top priority
- Leave your belongings behind and get away
- Help others escape, if possible, but evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
- Warn and prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be
- Call 911 when you are safe, and describe the shooter, location and weapons
HIDE, if escape is not possible.
- Get out of the shooter’s view and stay very quiet
- Silence all electronic devices and make sure they won’t vibrate
- Lock and block doors, close blinds and turn off lights
- Don’t hide in groups – spread out along walls or hide separately to make it more difficult for the shooter
- Try to communicate with police silently. Use text messages or social media to tag your location, or put a sign in a window
- Stay in place until law enforcement gives you the all clear
- Your hiding place should be out of the shooter’s view and provide protection if shots are fired in your direction
FIGHT as an absolute last resort.
- Commit to your actions and act as aggressively as possible against the shooter
- Recruit others to ambush the shooter with makeshift weapons like chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors, books, etc.
- Be prepared to cause severe or lethal injury to the shooter
- Throw items and improvise weapons to distract and disarm the shooter
“Run, Hide, Fight” – an active threat defense video – is available in multiple languages at www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUra6uw6CXK9SNLZeddcLIufDY5OfnMpU.
Be proactive, be prepared and take action to improve safety at the workplace and support a healthy workforce.