Secretary Jewell's Message for National Safety Month 2015


Hi everyone. I'm Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior.
Together, in supporting the broad mission
of the Department of the Interior,
we oversee a workforce of about 70,000
employees, supported by over three
hundred thousand volunteers.
With that comes a responsibility for all
of us to make sure that our work is done
In 2013 alone, about 4,500 DOI employees
were injured on the job,
and five employees lost their lives.
That's why I'm speaking with you today
about your roles and responsibilities in
the Department's Safety and Health Program.
As a senior leader in this Department, I
take these numbers
and my safety responsibility very
It's a responsibility that we share as
senior executives:
to assure that all of our employees work
in a safe and a healthy environment,
and it's not a role that we can delegate. Our departmental policy
states that management is accountable
for safety and health program
This means that we own the safety and
health program;
not our local safety and health
representative or office.
The Department Safety and Health Program covers employees and volunteers who are
located in sights as diverse as the
Alaskan Arctic,
or remote Fish and Wildlife refuges,
Indian schools,
national parks, surface mines, and even in
our offices in urban areas.
Every day many of our employees are
engaged in a wide variety of activities
that may expose them to great safety and
health risks, such as wildland fire
hazardous materials handling, or working
in remote settings.
Keeping our employees safe and healthy
must be a core value
throughout this department. No more than
any other factor
our level of individual commitment to
safety and health influences the values
our employees place on our safety
Building a strong safety culture begins
with our
senior executives here at DOI. That's
where I call on you
to contribute by being proactive and
engaging your managers and supervisors
to also lead by example,
and to set the tone so that everyone
understands that safety comes first.
When you complete this training it's my
hope that you'll have new ideas on how
to improve the safety and health of
everyone at Interior.
You can rest assured that I'll do my
part to see that departmental management
its responsibility for the performance
of our safety and health program
so that you have the support you need.
Thanks and have a great, fun,
and a safe day.

Introduction by Mary F. Pletcher, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Capital and Diversity

During the month of June, the Department of the Interior joins the National Safety Council (NSC) in celebrating National Safety Month as a time to bring attention to key safety issues. The June 2015 National Safety Month theme, "What I Live For,” is inspired by the idea that “everyone has something they live to see or experience.”

Employees are encouraged to participate in activities in observance of National Safety Month and to join the NSC and thousands of organizations across the country in managing risk to reduce the likelihood of injury or illness. This year the NSC focus will be on the important topics of prescription painkiller abuse, transportation safety, ergonomics, emergency preparedness and slips, trips and falls. The NSC will offer materials you can use to engage your employees, co-workers, family and friends in safety. Although June is set aside as National Safety Month, bureaus and offices have the latitude to adjust safety awareness activities to reach the greatest number of employees and volunteers.

For more information about National Safety Month, please contact the DOI Office of Occupational Safety and Health, Diane B. Schmitz at or (202) 219-0189.