Oregon Safety Break and REACH

Once a year The Oregon OSHA coordinates a one-day event called Oregon Safety Break on May the 11th. The purpose is to raise awareness and promote the value of workplace safety. Oregon employers use the event to raise its employees’ knowledge of workplace safety using activities and group discussions. After all, both the employer and the employees want everyone to go home the same way they came to work. When presented with a safe environment to work in workers would be less likely to be injured.


What spurred the Oregon OSHA to create the Oregon Safety Break event?


Back in 2001 the death rate for employees had hit a record low of 34 deaths. The lowest in a decade due to a steady decline of workplace deaths. That all changed soon as 2002 rolled around and the rate increased to 77 deaths. The Oregon OSHA points to the state wide struggling economy as the source for the increase. The reason employers were laying off safety related positions. Members of the business community had thought that there were other reasons for the death increase.


The Oregon OSHA and the leaders of the business community put their heads together and found a solution. They came up with the idea to promote a day dedicated to safety awareness. where businesses took time to have conversations about safety with their employees. This day became known as The Oregon Safety Break and is held annually on May 11th.


What did REACH do for the Oregon Safety Break?


REACH takes safety very seriously; our safety manager Gary Kester promotes safety by; training’s, managing REACH’s safety committee, showing educational videos and media, and showing and discussing safety concerns with our employees. REACH ended up celebrating on the 12th by having a small BBQ where we sat down and discussed safety with our employees. Ron Moe told a cautionary tale that emphasizes the importance of being safe and having a safety program in place at REACH. Then Gary and Ron had a small completion where our employees had to name off a hazard for each letter of the alphabet, the one with the most unique one’s wins.



Gary stresses “Safety is not a one day a year thing but an everyday thing that everyone should always be vigilant about.”



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