Building Safety Month, sponsored by the International Code Council, is a public awareness campaign offered each year to help individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create and sustain safe and sustainable structures.
The campaign reinforces the need for adoption of modern model building codes, a strong and efficient system of code enforcement, and a well-trained, professional workforce to maintain the system.
This year’s theme was “Building Safety: Maximizing Resilience, Minimizing Risks.” Themes spotlighted this year included:
- Code Officials: Keeping Fire in its Place;
- Code Officials: Helping Homeowners Weather the Storm;
- Code Officials: Surround Your Building with Safety; and
- Code Officials: Building a Brighter, More Efficient Tomorrow.
Homes and buildings that are built in compliance with building safety codes result in resilient structures that minimize the risks of death, injury and property damage. Regardless of the department code officials work in — building, fire, planning or elsewhere — they work hard every day to provide public safety by ensuring buildings are safely constructed. Because resilient structures minimize the risk of property damage, owners may pay lower insurance costs and millions of taxpayer dollars can be saved when rebuilding from natural disasters.
Based on building science, technical knowledge and past experiences, model building codes provide protection from manmade and natural disasters, guard public health and reduce property losses. The codes address all aspects of construction, from structural to fire prevention, plumbing and mechanical systems, as well as energy efficiency.
ICC states building codes have protected the public for thousands of years. The earliest known code of law — the Code of Hammurabi, king of the Babylonian Empire, written circa 2200 B.C. — assessed severe penalties, including death, if a building was not safely constructed. The regulation of building construction in the United States dates back to the 1700s. In the early 1900s, the insurance industry and others with similar concerns developed the first model building code.
ICC is a U.S.-based membership association that created Building Safety Month as a public service to promote safety in the built environment. ICC members develop the family of international codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures.
NAOSH Week another success
Along with ICC, the American Society of Safety Engineers and its Canadian counterparts, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, led another successful week commemorating safety in the workplace. North American Occupational Safety and Health Week, or NAOSH Week, occurs every year during the first full week of May. NAOSH Week is intended to raise awareness about occupational safety, health and the environment. The mission of NAOSH Week is to increase awareness of the importance of occupational safety and health to workers around the world.
The American Supply Association’s Safety Committee is pleased to promote these great efforts, and continues to provide our membership with safety resources and access to quality offerings such as these two great programs.
Author bio: Dan Hilton is ASA’s director of government affairs and staff liaison to the ASA Safety Committee. Hilton is based in Washington, D.C., and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703/328-5234.