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Safety Week

May 1, 2023

Celebrate the nationwide event scheduled for May 1-5

Safety Week

Safety Week is an annual week-long event to celebrate safety where you work by demonstrating continued commitment to building a stronger, safer workplace.

In honor of Safety Week 2023, Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) is celebrating workplace safety all week with team-specific meetings and a department-wide event on May 4.

Occupational Safety Technician Jamie Watkins will be hosting a mobile fall protection demonstration from 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, May 4 in the FM Alderman Road parking lot. All FM employees are invited to view the demonstration and check out free giveaways, including cooling towels, hearing protection devices and other swag.

UVA contractors Gilbane, Skanska, DPR, Barton Mallow and Hourigan will all be hosting special Safety Week gatherings on their UVA job sites this week.

In addition to recognizing workplace safety the first week of the month, OHS is also marking Mental Health Awareness Month this May.

Even though more than 50% of people in the United States are diagnosed with a mental health disorder during their lifetime, the term "mental illness" carries a stigma, which can lead to negative impacts including a lower likelihood of people seeking treatment.

Individuals can play an active role in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health challenges by talking to colleagues who may be struggling.

Consider the following tips:

  • Listen and watch for signs of struggling, as well as for potential sensitivities.
  • Start with simple questions like, “How are you feeling today?”
  • Be vulnerable and share your own mental health experiences.
  • Make sure others know you’re available to listen when they want to speak.
  • Try different communications approaches, such as calling or texting.

Model the following examples of supportive behavior:

  • Be open and approachable.
  • Use supportive language that is sensitive, avoids stigma, and is encouraging.
  • Use a patient, empathetic, and genuine tone.
  • Encourage an open, supportive culture where people feel comfortable talking and asking for help.
  • Ensure individuals feel valued and needed.

Learn more about being a mental health ally from UVA FEAP.

About the authors

Sarah Reed
Occupational Health and Safety Technician
UVA Facilities Management

Liz Burnett
Occupational Programs Communications Coordinator
UVA Facilities Management