June is National Safety Month. The National Safety Council observes this month by encouraging businesses, communities, and citizens to get involved in safety issues. NSM focuses on ways to help prevent injuries and death. This year’s theme is “Safety Starts with Me.”

Origin of National Safety Month

This June is National Safety Month and it’s also when we commemorate the 100th year since its inception in 1913. Because of National Safety Month, nearly 6 million lives have been saved through collaborative efforts, estimates the NSC. A timeline is as follows:

1912 – First Cooperative Safety Congress was created by a number of businesses that met in Milwaukee,Wisconsin to discuss American worker safety. The group saw a need to establish an organization responsible for “the preservation of human life.”

1913 – The National Council for Industrial Safety was erected, a “clearinghouse of safety information available to all concerned.” A year later, it was changed to what it is now – the National Safety Council. Robert W. Campbell was the first president; the first electric traffic signal was put into use in Cleveland,Ohio; and ANSI (American National Standards Institute) was founded, working together to promote industrial safety concerns.

1920s – The PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) was introduced after WWI gas-related deaths fueled a campaign to protect workers; they included respirators and masks that could be worn inside chemical plants. National Safety News – now Safety+Heath Magazine – was first published. This award-winning publication addresses safety issues and analysis of industry trends. The first national traffic laws were also implemented and the Uniform Vehicle Code was first created.

1930s – Hoover Dam was constructed and with it PPE expanded, due to “miner’s asthma” related injuries and death. Hard hats were also created.

 1940s – President Franklin D. Roosevelt got involved by asking the NSC to mobilize nationwide resources by educating business leaders and training new employees to help prevent work-related accidents. The Bureau of Mines was established to address and educate workers and businesses about the safety hazards of mine workers. The company AAA began roadside service. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) was also created.

1950s – “Bringing Safety Home,” was introduced to focus on home-related accidents, including Congress passing the Flammable Fabrics Act in 1953. This yielded mandatory flame retardant sleepwear for children. The Aircraft “Black Box” was introduced to assist aircraft investigations.

1960s – Disposable latex gloves and defensive driving courses were created. Seat belt laws were implemented and child-safety locks were invented.

1970s -OSH(Occupational Safety and Health Act) was signed into law; a year later, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) was officially established. Consumer products were also tested using the Consumer Product Safety Commission, (CPSC) and airbags are first introduced.

1980s – MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) was formed; Lockout/Tagout standards safeguarded millions of employees with safety labels attached to equipment.

1990s Blood-borne Pathogens Standard was created to protect exposed workers from HIV and Hepatitis.

2000s – Many more safety standards have been implemented, such as texting laws; the NSC created the Campbell Institute.

June is National Safety Month and now is the time to get involved, to ensure safety for future generations.