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Tag Archives: work safety

  • Looking Ahead: Workplace Safety in 2017

    workplace safety in 2017It's a new year, but what does that actually mean for workplace safety? Realistically speaking, the main difference between this year and last is that it's a new time frame for safety statistics to be taken. However, it's also a solid timeframe to set and reach new personal (and team) goals in the workplace.
     
    Surely this year will bring new safety regulations set forth by various institutions as well as improvements in the areas of safety equipment development - both of which come naturally with the progression of time. Regardless, it's important to understand that additional regulations don't necessarily make for a safer work environment. The only real changes that will take place are dependent on you and your coworkers; your awareness, work habits, and willingness to teach, learn and improve all of these things for the benefit of everyone.
     
    Let's take a look at something interesting.
     
    When the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported their revised (and final) numbers for the 2014 work year, they noted a 5.1% increase over the previous year for workers who died from traumatic events. Additionally, falls/slips/trips increased by 13% in the same time period. Furthermore, there was an increase in deaths among older workers as well as temporary and/or contract workers. These were primarily increases in the sectors of agriculture, mining, construction and manufacturing.
     
    According to experts, the increase was not a result of economical upsurge.
     
    On April 26, of 2016 The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) released a report titled Preventable Deaths 2016 which outlines more than 100,000 annual deaths related to direct workplace trauma, as well as from long-term exposure to on-the-job hazards. The report outlines many issues, shortcomings, and preventative measures geared towards a safer, more productive work environment across a variety of sectors and occupations.
     
    Particularly alarming are the statistics for fatal injuries in mining (up 17%) and agriculture (up 14%), manufacturing (up 9%) and construction (up 6%). Fatal injuries for workers 55 and over were the highest they've ever been. Female workers experienced a 13% overall increase in fatal work injuries in 2014 as compared to 2013.
     
    Now, it's important to note that these numbers take a while to come in and be thoroughly evaluated. At first glance, 2014 was thought to be a better year than 2013 in regards to fatalities; it took nearly 2 years to realize 2014 was more lethal.
     
    The real questions we need to be asking are "How and why?" are fatalities increasing?
     
    With our current technology and with our highly developed safety equipment and safety standards, why are more people dying? Do we not live in an age where we should be able to eliminate a rather large percentage of workplace injuries and deaths? Are we really so careless? Are employers to blame? Are employees simply disregarding the best-practices for their occupations? Is it more complicated than providing a simple answer???
     
    Of course there are many factors that contribute to each and every fatality. It wouldn't be fair or honest to place the blame on a single area or group of people without the proper data to back it up. Nonetheless, something is preventing us from seeing a solid decline. Over the decades, we have surely seen the numbers decrease, but is it really enough? Can't we do better? Is the pursuit of profits and paychecks really taking priority over safety? Are we all so ignorant as to assume "It can't happen to me"?
     
    We don't have the answers, and we're not sure that anyone actually does. Mistakes will happen, and accidents will happen - which is why we call them "accidents".
     
    What we do know, as a fact, is that a safer workplace begins with YOU. Whether you're a boss or a manager, supervisor or laborer, short-term or long-term employee; it begins with you. We all need to take the initiative to create a better workplace for ourselves and our co-workers. We need to be setting the example for the next generation of workers. We need to let our intelligence and abilities shine, proving that we're capable of performing our jobs safely. After all, the information is out there. We're living in a world of unlimited resources and ignorance is not a very valid excuse. We need to look out for one another as well as ourselves.
     
    Now, we'd also like to mention that the overwhelming majority of workers do take safety quite seriously - but that doesn't mean there is no room for improvement. Is a human life really worth an hour of saved work? Or even a few minutes? Is pressuring your employees or co-workers to work dangerously really profitable? Is taking a risk that you "think" is okay really worth a lifetime in a wheelchair, or a family without a father or mother?
     
    We like to think that we all have the best intentions in mind. We believe that most workers have a fear and awareness of workplace hazards, yet we're still confident that we can all make tiny improvements. Whether you're working alone or as a team, it's important to think things through. Be timely yet safe, effective yet cautious. Don't let the stresses of the job frustrate you and get the best of you. Safety comes first.
     
    Here's to hoping you're able to take something away from this post. We encourage you to make 2017 a better year in the workplace, even if you had a flawless 2016. Give a pointer to the new guy. Take that extra safety class. Keep up with safety advancements in your field. Lend a helping hand. Point out hazards that might otherwise go unnoticed. Give your best effort to make your workplace a safe, productive, and respectable one in 2017.
     
    Have a great year and stay safe out there!
     

  • A Unique Look At The Real Importance Of PPE

    It's quite likely that you've been told the importance of using personal protection equipment (PPE) on the job. You've watched the videos, you've seen the safety posters and you've heard the horror stories. It doesn't matter whether you work in a low-risk or high-risk environment, PPE can save your limbs and even your life.
     
    In this video, we're going to take a look at a very unique (and effective) approach to explaining the importance of utilizing the proper PPE. There's no boring statistics, no endless rambling and no sales pitch - just some creative examples of PPE use that everyone should be able to relate to. Enjoy!
     

  • 10 Workplace Safety Facts You Probably Didn't Know.

    workplace safety factsThere are plenty of jobs in the United States and other countries around the world that are labeled as risky, dangerous, hazardous and even deadly. You see the lists each year, as writers, researchers and news sources struggle to properly organize and present articles on what they claim to be the 10 or 25 most dangerous jobs or the 5 most deadly occupations. But due to hundreds if not thousands of different factors, it's nearly impossible to label any profession as the most deadly. We do however, know of a handful or two of occupations that are specifically dangerous.
     
    Aside from trying to present the occupations that are considered to be the most risky to your well being, we're presenting a list of 10 interesting workplace safety statistics. These are completely random, yet legitimate statistics involving safety issues on the job. Remember to be vigilant about safety by using the proper safety gear, taking the proper precautions and educating yourself and co-workers on the best safety practices.
     

    Deadly Sports? Kind of...

    In 2022, Qatar will host the world cup. While preparations have already began for the stadium and other infrastructure, 900 workers have already died in accidents as of March 2014. As a comparison, 25 workers died in preparation for the Sochi Olympics and 6 workers died during construction for the 2013 World Cup recently held in Brazil.
     

    Don't get Dozed!

    Beware of bulldozers! The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, out of 4,206 reported construction site fatalities, 774 were the direct result of bulldozer accidents. These incidents included rollovers, crushing incidents, becoming trapped, and run-over accidents.
     

    This is Shocking!

    An average of 400+ workers die each year in the US from electrocution. Electrical linemen count for about 10% of those fatalities.
     

    Nothing to Smile About

    In 2012 in there were 249 workplace related suicides and 475 workplace homicides in the United States.
     

    Foreign actories Highly Fatal?

    It's estimated that there are about 150,000 factory worker deaths annually in China. Researchers feel the number may be up to 50% higher but accurate statistics are not really available.
     

    Don't Retire Before You Retire

    45 to 54 year olds are the most likely age group to suffer a fatality in the workplace. Workers who are 20 years old and younger make up the smallest percentage of workplace fatalities.
     

    Cited for Safety

    In 2010 the average OSHA fine was $1,028 and the average company received more than two fines per inspection. According to OSHA the most violated standards over past year were fall protection and scaffolding requirements.
     

    Way Too Many

    Globally, an average of 6,000 people die per day as a result of work-related accidents or diseases, totaling over 2.2 million work-related deaths a year. According to the international Labour Organization about 350,000 of those yearly deaths are from accidents while the remaining 1.7 million are from diseases.
     

    'Checks' and Balances?

    The cost of work-related injury and illness in 2007 was about $250 billion in the US. That puts the price to of workplace health and safety problems above the economic burden posed by all cancers combined.
     

    More Workers Making it Home

    Since OSHA was implemented in 1971, the rate of workplace fatalities among employees has decreased by 62% while occupational injury and illness rates have decreased by nearly 42%.
     

  • Workplace Accidents are a Top Killer in the US

    HiVis-Supply-Fall-Protection-Work-safetySince we try to put a strong focus on workplace safety, we often comb through statistics regarding health, dangers and injury in the workplace. We try to come forth with relative statistics to help create awareness and give you the knowledge to create a safer workplace, regardless of the hazards. We know injuries can happen at work, and we know that many of them can also be prevented.

    With June being National Safety Month, The National Safety Council created a press release recently to make a few interesting points and create some much needed awareness. The interesting points? Well, accidental injuries are one of the leading causes of death in the US - number 5 actually.

    With it being the 5th largest killer, we've broken accidental death down further to show the 3 major causes:

    1. Poisoning
    2. Motor Vehicle Crashes/Equipment Accidents
    3. Falls

    Keep in mind that these include injuries to the general public as well as in the workplace.

    Now for the rest of the list - here's the top 15 causes of death within the United States, as listed by the NSC.

    1. Heart disease
    2. Cancer
    3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases
    4. Stroke
    5. Unintentional injuries (accidents)
    6. Alzheimer’s disease
    7. Diabetes
    8. Kidney disease
    9. Flu and pneumonia
    10. Intentional self harm (suicide)
    11. Septicemia (blood poisoning)
    12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
    13. Hypertension
    14. Parkinson’s disease, and
    15. Pneumonitis (inflammation of lung tissue) due to solids and liquids.

    While it's surely an eye opener those of us working in areas that hold potential dangers, it's also an eye opener for the general public. This data actually had the NSC wondering if americans are worrying about the wrong things when it comes to safety.

    You may think the top leading causes of death would be murders or drunk driving accidents but they're not. In fact, they don't even rank in the top 15 of the list. What's equally interesting is that aside from accidental death, the vast majority of the top 15 killer in the US are health related.

    So be healthy, be safe and share this with whoever you can. Many people might be surpassed to see what the list consists of.

    More importantly, don't forget that accidental death is the 5th largest killer in the US. Share that fact with co-workers and managers, it's important to know. Have a safe month and be sure to schedule a safety review meeting for June, after all, it is National Safety Month.

  • Winter in the Workplace - Proper Safety Preparations

    winter workplace safetyWith winter in full swing, it's important that employers look out for the safety of their employees, especially those whose day-to-day tasks include working and traveling in cold temperatures while dealing with ice, snow, freezing rains and hazardous roadway or job site conditions.
     
    Just as the peak months of summer require extra attention to safety for the prevention of heat stress and heat-related illness, the winter months bring their own set of obstacles that can prove to be quite challenging if you're not properly prepared.
     
    In addition to the workers own responsibilities such as dressing accordingly for the frigid cold, it's the job of the employer to ensure safe working conditions in regard to the work environment. This includes things such as a job site that's free of hazards (like excessive ice) and a company vehicle that's equipped with emergency supplies should weather conditions or a mechanical failure cause drivers to become stranded in a remote area in dangerously cold temperatures. Instead of assuming that "things will be fine", it's always a good idea to be prepared for the worst - just in case.
     
    According to OSHA, 70% of workplace injuries that are a direct result of the weather are due to vehicle accidents while about 25% of injuries are obtained from being stranded in the cold during storm conditions.
     
    We urge you - whether an employer or an employee - to be prepared, anticipate the hazards of rapid changes in the weather and to develop strategies for staying safe during extreme conditions.
     
    Below are a few of the best practices that can be followed for specific situations. While there are many possibilities that aren't addressed, these are a few general guidelines to follow to help ensure safety and capability in emergency situations.
     
    Traveling in Extreme Weather
    • Inspect vehicles at regular intervals, preferably daily before use to ensure proper functionality of tires, brake systems, cooling systems and visibility features such and wipers and/or defroster.
    • Equip each vehicle with a winter emergency kit. A kit should contain a minimum of a blanket(s), emergency radio, flashlight and fresh batteries, a heat source, road flares, jumper cables, and a shovel. Additional items may be needed depending on the location, weather and terrain.
     
    Working in Extreme Weather
    • Prevent Frostbite and Hypothermia: Both of these conditions are threatening to health and can even be fatal in extreme cases. Workers should dress properly to protect themselves from the extreme cold, wind and water. Waterproof and/or windproof clothing is a good idea and it's always smart to wear more than needed to keep warm. Layers can always be removed as needed so it's best to ensure maximum warmth. Drinking warm beverages and taking frequent breaks in warming shelters could be necessary during severe temperature situations.

    • Avoid Slips and Falls: Although outdoor conditions can make it difficult to keep an area completely clear of hazards, it's a good idea to keep areas with high foot traffic clear of obstructions including ice and standing water. Wear boots that offer increased traction, keep slippery surfaces salted/sanded and avoid leaving tools or materials in the snow as low visibility can increase the risk of injury.
     
    Remember, life threatening situations always come unexpectedly. Be sure to discuss and properly plan for winter weather safety with your employer, employees and/or co-workers. For more information on winter work safety, visit this helpful winter safety guide from OSHA.

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