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Top 10 Workplace Injuries: What the Numbers Suggest

Top Workplace Injuries and How to Protect Against Them

When it comes to injuries in your workplace what is your reporting telling you? Is your facility falling victim to the top 10 most common and costly injuries in America? Liberty mutual says the financial impact of these 10 injuries on businesses is $60 billion in comp costs or more than $1 billion per week. Can your workplace afford to have these types of injuries looming over it?

The breakdown of the 10 injuries in the workplace are as follows:

  1. Over exertion $15.1 billion
  2. Falls on same level $9.19 billion
  3. Struck by object or equipment $5.3 billion
  4. Fall to lower level $5.12 billion
  5. Other exertions or bodily reactions $4.2 billion
  6. Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle $3.18 billion
  7. Slip or trip without fall $2.17 billion
  8. Caught in/ compressed by equipment or objects $2.1 billion
  9. Repetitive motion involving microtasks $1.84 billion
  10. Struck against object or equipment $1.76 billion

From the Top Down

Perhaps to no surprise everyday tasks are where companies continue to rack up costs. Over exertion tops the list. Given its broad meaning over exertion can occur during normal movements such as lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing which overtime can take its toll and the body. A little further down the list other exertions or bodily reactions accounts for about an additional $4.2 billion on top of the over exertion category’s staggering $15.1 billion price tag.

What the Numbers Suggest

An obvious trend behind these numbers  is that they are occurring during frequent but seemingly simple tasks. All, when performed correctly, injuries could be avoided, so where does the disconnect lie? All facilities are different but do these numbers suggest that workers are not getting the necessary training upfront to do their work successfully and without incident? Could the growing skills gap and need to supplement the workforce with temp workers be having an effect? Or is it that workers are having to take on more worker than ever before and are struggling to get everything done?

What do you think would help facilities and workers avoid these common injuries? What is your facility doing to avoid them? 


 

5 Workplace Safety Trends in 2015 So Far

5 Workplace Safety Trends in 2015 so far

At the beginning of the year OSHA promised that 2015 would be filled with new regulations and an aggressive agenda. So far we have seeing updated Injury Reporting and Record Keeping changes, GHS deadlines, a hotly contested silica proposal, and a confined space final rule set to take effect August 3, 2015. It is obvious that OSHA has kicked procedures into high gear on their end but how have facilities been faring the first half of the year? Here are some of the trends that are emerging in the way facilities are working through 2015.

Shift in Workforce Makeup

Skills gap, baby boomer, expertise shortage, chances are these topics of discussion may have come up in conversation this year around the facility. As baby boomers begin to retire many businesses are feeling their absence and struggling to fill open positions with qualified applicants. This provides great opportunity to younger workers looking to take on more responsibility and expand their knowledge in the field but also highlights the importance of making sure that whoever is taken on to fill these open positions is properly trained.

Health and Safety for contract/temporary workers

While trying to fill open positions facilities are looking to temp workers for help who are unfortunately not always being given the same proper on boarding as permanent employees. Bypassing important training is placing these workers in deadly situations. Citations, injuries, and fatalities continue to happen all too frequently with temp workers, highlighting the necessity for change when it comes to how temp workers are treated. Host employers and staffing agencies both hold responsibilities in protecting these workers and this issue continues to be a focus for OSHA through the Temporary Workers Initiative.

Workers Rights

Workers safety should always be a top priority, and more and more companies will continue to see workers voice their opinions and concerns without the fear of retaliation. With much focus given to the Whistle Blower Protection Program by OSHA and the workers right to know, numbers are showing that OSHA inspections are increasing due to employee concerns and complaints.

Where will your focus be when it comes to safety for the second half of 2015? Have you been noticing any trends around your facility?


New Regulation in Focus: Confined Space in Construction 

New Regulation in Focus: Confined Space in Construction

OSHA already has a confined space rule what do we need another one for? While it is true that there is already an existing confined space rule that was established through OSHA in 1993, this new regulation ensures the safety of construction workers throughout the evolving processes of a project; as the flow of workers, contractors, sub contractors, temp workers etc. file through any given site.

Key Differences

Key differences between the already existing confined space rule for general industry/ manufacturing and the new regulation for construction include more detailed coordination requirements among all parties working within a site; the requirement of a qualified person to evaluate and identify confined spaces and permit spaces; continuous monitoring for internal hazard, environmental hazard, or changes in safety, and the suspension of a permit instead of cancellation if conditions change unexpectedly rendering the space unsafe for a period of time.

Questions

For those wondering who exactly is affected by this regulation , OSHA makes it very clear that any and all construction employers who’s workers may be exposed to confined space hazards are responsible for taking the necessary action in applying this standard to their part of the construction process, regardless of whether or not a contractor or subcontractor is hired.

If your employees work on the site but will not enter the spaces you must also take the necessary steps to prevent your workers from entering them.

Lastly, if you are doing construction and general industry work in a confined space employers should follow the construction confined space standard.

In Effect as Of August 3, 2015

The new rule goes into effect as of August 3, 2015. To get more information and learn when your company will now need to start doing differently, click here.

 


 

Workplace Safety News Roundup

Workplace Safety News Roundup

Keeping track of new OSHA regulations and taking advantage of supplemental safety training and reading materials makes a large difference in the success of the programs you implement in your workplace. Seeing what others are doing both for the better and worse help mold an all encompassing safety initiative. Here is a sampling of some of the news buzzing around workplace safety this month.

Despite delays, OSHA says to expect several rules soon

Several final and proposed OSHA rules – including a long-delayed update to the beryllium rule – are expected to be published in the next few months, according to the agency’s spring regulatory agenda, released May 21. According to the agenda, OSHA remains on track to complete the next steps for several other major rulemakings, including completing by June its analysis of comments on a proposed silica rule. A silica rule has been in the works since 2003, and OSHA has proposed new permissible exposure limits based on recommendations NIOSH originally issued more than 40 years ago.

For more information click here

Do you work in one of the post dangerous states?

“Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect,” marks the 24th year the AFL-CIO has produced its findings on safety and health protections for workers in the United States. The report shows the highest workplace fatality rates were found in North Dakota, Alaska, Wyoming, West Virginia and New Mexico.

According to the report released April 29, 4,585 workers were killed in the United States in 2013 due to workplace injuries. An additional estimated 50,000 workers died from occupational diseases, resulting in a loss of nearly 150 workers each day from preventable workplace conditions.

To read more click here.

30 Years of Hearing Loss Trends

A new study in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) examines thirty years of hearing loss trends experienced by workers exposed to noise while at work, across various businesses. The analysis, released by the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, discovered that while progress has been made in lessening the risk of hearing loss within most business sectors, additional efforts are needed within the Mining, Construction, and Social and Health Care Assistance sectors.

To read more click here.

OSHA severely underestimates costs of silica standard, construction coalition says

OSHA’s proposed silica standard will cost employers billions of dollars more than the agency has estimated, according to a report from the Construction Industry Safety Coalition.

The March 26 report states that the rule could cost the construction industry $5 billion a year – far greater than OSHA’s estimate of $500 million per year.

To read more click here.

After dozens of worker injuries, Pa. company hit with $1 million+ in fines

A Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania-based company has had approximately 40 serious injuries among its workforce since 2000. These injuries include serious lacerations as well as crushed, fractured, dislocated and amputated* fingers.

After numerous inspections, warnings and fines, OSHA has levied $822,000 in fines against the company — bringing its total to more than $1 million in the last fifteen years. The company has also been placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

To read more click here.

Safety manager faces prison: Worker fatally burned in industrial oven

A former safety manager, an operations director and Bumble Bee Foods LLC all face criminal charges in connection with the death of an employee inside an industrial oven. Former Bumble Bee Safety Manager Saul Florez, the company’s Director of Plant Operations Angel Rodriguez and Bumble Bee Foods were charged with three felony counts each of an OSHA violation causing death. On Oct. 11, 2012, Jose Melena, 62, entered a 35-foot-long oven as part of his job at Bumble Bee’s Santa Fe Springs plant. Co-workers didn’t know Melena was inside. They loaded carts containing about 12,000 pounds of tuna into the oven, closed the door and started it.

To read more click here

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