ALWAYS OBSERVED on the last full week of April, this year Locator Safety & Appreciation Week is April 20-26… and it will sneak up on you sooner than you think! LSAW is all about letting locators know how much we appreciate the difficult, challenging, and sometimes dangerous work they do protecting our underground utilities.
Working outdoors, at private residences and public facilities, exposing themselves to the risks of dog bites, insect stings and extreme weather conditions, in terrain that may be uneven and contain tripping hazards or poison ivy and other skin irritants, locators are exposed to hazards on a daily basis that make their job difficult.
Given the challenges of the job on which so much depends, LSAW is a great time to show appreciation for these unsung heroes of the damage prevention industry. There are many creative ways to do this and the most effective strategies are ones that invite people to take responsibility for safe practices and encourages them to campaign for safety both on and off the job. Here are a few ideas:
– Hold a safety contest on your website or Facebook page. Offer a daily prize to everyone who identifies an unsafe practice in various daily photos. This is a great way to have locators return to your page each day for additional safe locating information.
– Ask locators to come up with ideas for safety slogans. Getting people to invest in building a safety culture is a great way to engage people and give them a sense of ownership in your program.
– Ask people why they work safe and why it is important, and then film their answers. What a great way to get people thinking about safety! Uploaded and share the videos through YouTube.
– Hold a locator safety coffee break and provide coffee and treats. Engage in both formal and informal discussions on safety while communicating thanks to locators for their hard work.
– Instead of a coffee break, do the last suggestion as an appreciation lunch.
– Play safety games: Safe Practices Bingo, or Safety Word Search puzzles are just a couple ideas. Be creative and try to involve everyone in the planning. The more people feel invested, the more they can share their excitement with others.
– Let locators know they are appreciated with small gifts like coffee mugs and t-shirts that combine a safety message with your company logo. Not only does this make the locator feel appreciated, but it’s a great way to get the word out.
– Reach out to the media to get some local coverage. Even a small notice in a newspaper or a 30-second story on a local television or radio station can help educate the community at large about the valuable role that locators play in keeping neighborhoods safe. It’s also a perfect opportunity to enhance your image within the community.
These are just a few of the possibilities. When you add your creative ideas to the mix and take advantage of all the FREE resources provided by Infrastructure Resources on the LSAW website (www.locatorsafety.com), planning your involvement in Locator Safety & Appreciation Week could not be easier.
This year, as in previous years, suggested daily social media posts are available for download. Post or share these messages to provide daily safety reminders throughout LSAW. Public interaction like this helps to increase positive attitudes about the important job locators perform. What better way to show appreciation for locators than by spreading the message about the critical work they do?
Other free downloads are also available on the website including safety greeting cards to distribute to your locators, safety posters to hang in your break room and web buttons to proudly share your participation in LSAW on your website.
Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to let locators know that their hard work is appreciated. Safety is important year around, day-in and day-out, but LSAW is a time to build general safety awareness that can empower locators to take responsibility for their own safety as well as the safety of others.
Share your LSAW ideas and successful events with us by sending them to Karin@emailir.com for publication in an upcoming issue of dp-PRO.
Infrastructure Resources Initiative
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