2023 Safety Calendar: How to Organize Your Preparedness Efforts
Safety isn’t just an activity, it’s a way of running an organization. Keep your people safe and expand your efforts throughout the year with a safety calendar.
There’s no universal list of occupational safety hazards or complete guide to address them all. And if there were such a list—the severity of threats ebbs and flows over time, meaning it wouldn’t stay useful for long. Instead, an all-hazards approach encompasses all potential disruptions your business might face based on your industry, location, climate, etc., and this plan provides generalized guidance that can work even when the details of the emergency don’t go exactly according to prediction. This results in a plan that effectively prepares for virtually all hazards.
But using that approach is only part of the battle. How do you decide when to enact the various recommendations from your plan? When do you hold safety training sessions and perform reviews? When does it make the most sense to talk about the inclement weather policy as opposed to mental health awareness? The answer is simple: Use a safety calendar!
Download Our 2023 Safety Calendar
Why Use a Safety Calendar?
A safety calendar is exactly what it sounds like: a calendar that plots out your company’s safety plans for the year in the standard 12-month arrangement.
Not only do these calendars help everyone remember when training, initiatives, and other activities occur, but they can also organize safety events around themes. By aligning monthly areas of focus, observed dates, and preparedness objectives, these calendars can keep everyone on the same page and avoid overloading them with too many subjects at once. For example, workers who are overwhelmed with safety equipment training, learning heat safety protocols, and practicing evacuation procedures simultaneously are likely to forget some elements of each priority. If those workers are instead presented with activities and initiatives that are all part of the same theme, they’re more likely to retain crucial info.
Creating a safe organization isn’t only the responsibility of safety leaders—it’s part of the company’s overall safety culture, which requires everyone to engage with the initiatives and exercises. Getting everyone on the same page without a calendar is virtually impossible, as anyone who’s tried to schedule a meeting knows.
Breakdown of a Safety Calendar
Our safety calendar includes all 12 months of the year and comes pre-filled with major safety observances, such as World Health Day and Distracted Driving Awareness Month to help spark safety topic ideas and engagement.
Robust safety calendars, such as AlertMedia’s, attack the question of a safe workplace from three angles:
- Preparation & planning
- Implementation & training
- Safety talk topics
Preparation & planning
This is where your theoretical, behind-the-desk work takes place. Before you start running emergency drills, holding training sessions, or running tabletop exercises, you need to figure out some plans and policies.
Your calendar will note which topic is the focus for each month. For example, January’s suggested topic is inclement weather, so you’d probably concentrate on preparing for icy roads; slips, trips, and falls; shelter-in-place procedures; and other weather-related hazards.
With your monthly themes in mind (which may deviate from our suggestions), you can begin drawing up your preparation objectives. For inclement winter weather, your goals might be to
- Create a natural disaster policy
- Improve natural disaster communication protocols
- Review and improve parking lot safety rules
You could include many more or very few objectives, depending on the needs of your organization, your available resources, and your existing preparedness activities. Over the course of the year, plan to account for every potential disruption or threat (there’s that all-hazards approach again) that you could reasonably expect and prepare for.
Implementation & training
Now the fun begins! As long as your idea of fun is safety activities—and we’d like to think it is.
This part can be properly completed only if the prep & planning stage is finalized. After all, you have to know what you’re training for before you start practicing.
Implementation and training are where the rubber meets the road. Here, leaders and/or employees unite to test, practice, and jumpstart actionable plans. These exercises can be on an individual basis, such as an online training module, or they can be group-based, like evacuation drills or equipment training.
For our example of a company using January as a time to advance preparedness for inclement weather, their implementation and training regimen might include the following:
- Running a shelter-in-place drill
- Testing the mass notification system to confirm correct contact information and message delivery
- Delivering a training session on driver safety and highway safety in icy conditions
When compiling your list of actions for the month, keep in mind the current state of safety implementation and training at your organization. Ask yourself questions like: What topics has your organization trained on previously? Are new hires trained on these issues or only veteran employees? What emergency scenarios are most likely? Which of these activities can best help us avoid or mitigate serious harm like injuries or fatalities?
Safety talk topics
There’s no substitute for careful planning and full-scale training for emergency response plans, but sometimes you don’t need a big production to get one safety idea across to your employees. That’s when regular safety talks come in.
Say you have one important workplace safety tip, like methods for protecting employees during a hailstorm. By holding a short 5–10 minute meeting at the beginning of a workday, you can convey this important information without overloading everyone with training.
You can use these short safety talks to reinforce your big plans, too. Say you held that meeting about driving safely in inclement weather four weeks ago but want to refresh everyone ahead of a big storm that’s forecast to hit town. A brief safety moment can remind everyone of the key points of the earlier presentation and make sure the information is fresh.
Run these safety meetings on a regular basis but not too often. Many organizations find that weekly or biweekly safety meetings are regular enough to cover a wide variety of topics without spending too much employee time or overloading people with information.
Examples of short safety talk topics for January include:
- Proper ergonomics for remote working
- Slip, trip, and fall prevention
- A refresher on the signs of frostbite
We have a whole post dedicated to December–January safety topics. Check it out for more safety meeting ideas for the winter months!
When and How to Use Your Safety Calendar
You can start planning at any point in the year. Look ahead from where you are now to set realistic milestones and schedule timely training and meetings to support preparedness efforts.
Patterns in safety trends and changes in your environment might require updates and revisions to your calendar. This document isn’t set in stone; keep it as up to date as possible. Schedule regular reviews and revisions of the calendar. This could be quarterly, annually, or however often works for your business, but as a rule of thumb, update your safety calendar at least every year.
To help you organize your calendar, we’ve included three sections on each monthly page where you can list the various elements you plan to cover: prep & planning, implementation & training, and short safety talk topics. Once you fill out those sections, you can plot them onto the calendar in a way that makes sense for your team and your high-level preparedness goals.
Finally, share the document with team leaders or even all employees! Since safety is a collaborative effort, everyone needs to be kept abreast of upcoming initiatives.
AlertMedia’s 2023 Safety Calendar Highlights
If you’re looking for unique events and topics to put on your calendar, you’re in luck! Subscribe to AlertMedia’s The Employee Safety Podcast to hear the insightful episodes lined up for this year, including:
- Dr. Rajni Walia of DEKRA North America discussing psychological safety
- Dave Blanchard of EHS Today on how EHS roles are expanding every day
- Cam Mackey of ISEA with PPE best practices that protect workers from extreme heat
- Emily Drexler of the Atlanta Hawks on improving security through training
- Abby Ferri of Insurate on safety, security, and EHS
- Dr. Keri Stephens from the University of Texas discussing better organizational communication through technology
- Delia Midamba of Cloudflare on employee travel safety
- Meghan Murphy and Michelle Kubo of Starbucks on building a safe, secure, and resilient organization
- Matt Doherty of Sikich on workplace violence prevention and behavioral threat assessments
- Anna Moore of Crowdstrike on scaling security with a lean team
- Simon Huang of Restoration Hardware on emergency response during the California floods
Keep an eye on social media, such as our Linkedin, to learn about new episodes as soon as they’re available!
Our calendar template also includes days and months of observance related to safety, including many listed on Ready.gov’s preparedness calendar. Here they are in case you want to add them to your personal calendar:
Your Company, Your Calendar
AlertMedia’s 2023 safety calendar is the best way to get a bird’s-eye view of your organization’s upcoming safety plans. And while we included some baked-in events like safety holidays and sample ideas to get you started, most of the document is blank. That’s because only a custom safety calendar that takes your business risks and priorities into account is worthwhile. Relying on something off the rack won’t enable you to consider all of the variables that make your company unique, and it might even waste your time by focusing your attention on something inapplicable to your business.
Ultimately, only you and your employees know how to meet your safety challenges, but a safety calendar is a big help when pulling it all together.