“Workers Compensation and the Most Dangerous Industries in the U.S.”

Getting injured or sick in the workplace is a more significant problem than most people might realize. While it is true that the number of reported non-fatal illnesses or injuries dropped from 4.2 million in 2005 to a little over 3 million in 2013, workplace incidents are still pose serious issues. The consequences of these accidents are vast, including missed days of work, legal fees, lost productivity, decreased morale among employees, equipment repair or replacement and the training of new employees or even loss of life. Monetarily, an employer can face hefty medical bills and compensation fees for an injured worker. In 2014, over 250,000 claims were submitted, ranging from mental stress to fractures and sprains. In total, over 11 billion dollars was paid out for these incidents. To learn more, checkout the infographic below created by Eastern Kentucky University’s Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety program.

Statistically, several common types of injuries or incidents occur most frequently in the workplace. While these are not exclusive to specific states, Maine and Vermont have reported the most accidents. The gathered information has also been broken down into several categories to highlight certain details more adequately. These statistics help OSHA as well as employers gain insight into areas that may need to be addressed in order to prevent workplace accidents.

THE MOST COMMON NON-FATAL ACCIDENTS

In 2013, over 1 million non-fatal accident reports were filed. They included over-exertion or strain, slips or falls, contact with equipment or objects, violent acts by animals or people encountered at work and transportation incidents. Such reports were also broken down by industry to provide perceptiveness into areas that seem to have more issues. In descending order by amount, these industries include local government, health care or social services, retail, manufacturing and hospitality.

THE MOST COMMON FATAL ACCIDENTS

Sadly, over 4,000 workers lost their lives in 2013 due to workplace incidents. While many of the reported fatalities fall into the same categories as non-fatal accidents, exposure to harmful environmental conditions or substances is the number one category for these unfortunate claims. Industries that saw the most fatalities include construction, manufacturing, agriculture, transportation and government jobs. No price can be put on the loss of human life, making fatal workplace accidents truly devastating events.

Due to the countless workers’ compensation claims filed each year and the staggering number of reported workplace incidents; OSHA has put in place stricter guidelines and regulations for employers. OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and they serve an extremely significant purpose. They not only provide training, assistance and useful information to employers but they are the body that oversees workplace conditions, ensuring safety for all employees. They regulate and enforce protective health and safety standards for employers. These standards promote a healthier and less risky environment for workers.

There were multiple violations recorded by OSHA for 2014. The violations were noted and penalized in an effort to thwart potential accidents while on the job. The range of violations is broad but does somewhat pinpoint industries that may need improvement. As a whole, the construction industry faced several violations that included improper fall protection as well as ladder and scaffolding issues. Many problems were found among a large spectrum of industries such as improper respiratory protection, poor communication concerning hazardous materials, misuse or operation of machinery, improper electrical wiring as well as several others.

In previous years, OSHA required employers to report injuries that resulted in three or more hospitalizations, categorized as catastrophes. However, they have since reevaluated that regulation and determined that a stricter guideline needed to be put in place. Effective January 1, 2015 all injuries that take occur in the workplace must be reported within 24 hours of the incident. This will not only ensure responses that are more accurate but will paint a broader picture of true on the job accidents. OSHA has reason to believe that tens of thousands of injuries go unreported which is a real cause for concern. The new regulation will not only hold employers more accountable for accidents occurring on their watch but will also help them be more aware of the potential problem areas in their facilities.

In the last two years, the majority of states have seen an increase in the total amount of paid workers’ compensation benefits. It is this increase that is concerning and OSHA hopes to work with employers to help greatly reduce such claims. Employers can do their part by following the regulations set forth by the administration, regularly checking their workplace, inspecting equipment and making sure employees are following all safety rules and guidelines.

Eastern Kentucky University

“Top 10 Safety Apps For EHS Professionals”


Paul Colangelo, National Compliance Director for “ClickSafety” evaluated more than 150 Environmental Health and Safety apps available on a number of platforms in order to determine which ones were most valuable to workers.

Colangelo had a number of factors he took into account, including: cost, size of the app, content, design, subscription model, registration requirements, and whether or not the app has an offline mode.

Colangelo reviewed both free and fee-based apps during his talk. Many regulatory agencies like OSHA have developed apps such as the Heat Safety Tool, which is designed to not only calculate heat index, but also to identify signs and symptoms of heat-related illness, first-aid treatment and contact information for the agency. 

NIOSH offers apps that address chemical safety, ladder safety, lift safety and several others. Beyond OSHA and NIOSH, agencies and associations such as ANSI, AHA and NFPA have developed apps.

Colangelo suggested that OSH professionals use the following criteria when selecting apps:

device brand; device type; flash capability; industry; classification; source and accuracy of content; cost; malware and security concerns; ads. 

Colangelo’s’s session was recorded during Safety 2015 and is available for purchase on http://learn.asse.org.

Dave Weber from “Safety Awakenings” reviews new safety apps for his website on a weekly basis and recommends the following apps from his weekly reviews. 

OSHA Heat Safety Tool

NIOSH Ladder Safety

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Hazardous Chemicals

Pocket First Aid

Fall Clear Lite

Electrical Safety Tests

Incident Cost Calculator

AccuWeather

ILO Ergonomic Checkpoints

I-Auditor

Note: The apps referred to in this story came from the Safety Awakenings Website. See the following link For more information: http://www.safetyawakenings.com/apps/

 

“Samsung ‘Safety Truck’ Makes It Easier For Drivers To See The Road Ahead Before Trying To Pass”

It’s as simple as that: a wireless camera attached to the front of the truck, films the oncoming traffic, and sends the image to a video wall made out of four exterior monitors located on the back.

This way, the driver stuck behind the vehicle can have a better understanding of whether is safe to overtake or not.

A brilliant idea that seems obvious in retrospect: thing is, nobody had ever tested something similar to what Asian technology behemoth Samsung has been experimenting with recently.

If implemented, the system could be a game-changer. A pilot test was run in Argentina, one of the countries with the most dangerous roads in the world, with 12.4 road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year, according to the 2014 edition of the Road Safety Annual Report.

Most of these accidents occur on two-lane roads and particularly in situations of overtaking; so this kind of technology could indeed prove something of a boon for drivers.

“Another advantage of the Safety Truck,” the Korean manufacturer writes in a post on Samsung Tomorrow (the Samsung Electronics official global blog), “is that it may reduce the risk of accidents caused by sudden braking or animals crossing the road.”

Employee Injuries Cost US Companies In Excess Of A Billion Dollars A Week

In Washington State they have a subsidized RTW program. Light-duty jobs for injured workers help keep valued employees and control employer costs. Hear how from the Eagle Group in Spokane, WA.

According to the 2013 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the most disabling workplace injuries and illnesses in 2011 amounted to $55.4 billion in direct U.S. workers’ compensation costs. This translates into more than a billion dollars spent by businesses each week on the most disabling injuries.

The top cause of disabling injuries was once again overexertion. This includes injuries related to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, or throwing and cost businesses $14.2 billion in direct costs and accounted for 25.7% of the national burden. The other top 3 were: Falls on same level, struck by object or equipment, and falls to lower level.

Using OSHA’s Safety Pays calculator, we can get an idea of how much an injury costs and the amount of sales needed to cover that cost. For example, one strain can cost a company more than $67,000. If your company has a profit margin of 5%, that means you need sales of more than $1.3 million to pay for that single injury.

Given the magnitude of these costs, why does safety fall by the wayside? Why are injuries, such as back strain and falls still a common occurrence in the workplace?

The sooner employers realize the benefits of an effective safety and health system, the sooner:

  • injury and illness rates decline
  • medical expenses are cut
  • OSHA penalties are avoided
  • productivity is increased
  • profitability is improved

In California, the Hayward Lumber Company provides an excellent example of how a company can promote safety and health. In an interview, Bill Hayward, CEO, told the American Society of Safety Engineers: “Our basic safety training is ongoing and intense. Employees are trained in ergonomics, equipment, proper lifting, handling and personal protective equipment, and they know that we take their safety and health very seriously.”

A proper safety culture is only going to thrive if it is completely fluid throughout the facility – from the CEO to the line worker. The safety and health professional must be able to effectively interact with senior management and vice versa. Safety professionals must be able to use return-on-investment analyses and speak the language of senior executives. Similarly, senior management must understand the safety professional’s perspective and contributions to the organization’s overall well-being and prosperity.

How does a company know if it has instilled a proper safety culture?

Management and employees:

  • believe in a safe and healthy workplace
  • take responsibility for protecting the safety and health of others as well as themselves
  • train constantly at all levels within the organization
  • have meaningful and measurable safety and health improvement goals
  • have positive attitudes – continuously

Learn how PureSafety, the workplace safety industry’s first learning and safety management system, helps employee safety professionals proactively manage training, safety and compliance.

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Written by Langdon Dement

Langdon Dement, MS, AEP (Associate Ergonomics Professional), GSP (Graduate Safety Practitioner), is an EHS Advisor with UL Workplace Health and Safety, focusing on industrial hygiene, ergonomics, patient handling and Job Hazard Analysis. He holds a degree in Occupational Safety and Health (M.S.) with a specialization in Industrial Hygiene from Murray State University and a degree in Biology from Harding University (B.S.).

“Safety Photo of the Day” – June 20, 2015

  

9 Ways You Can Make a Service Member Smile from Wherever You Are

Jack Benton:

Always Happy to Assist Our Troops and My Great Friends at Operation Gratitude!🇺🇸

Originally posted on Operation Gratitude Blog:

package

Operation Gratitude may be headquartered in the Los Angeles area, but you can help us make a difference regardless of where you live. Read below for ways you can put smiles on the faces of our troops and veterans from wherever you are!

1. Send Us Your Beanie Babies We put Beanie Babies and other small plush toys in the care packages we send to deployed troops. Read why we do this!

2. Organize a Collection Drive Our volunteers nationwide have generously devoted their time to running successful collection drives for Operation Gratitude using our wish list as a guide. Why not organize one in your community?

3. Recfirst deployment packageycle Your Old Cell or Smart Phone We’ve partnered with a company that will recycle your old cell or smart phone, or electronic device, in a way that is both environmentally responsible and beneficial to Operation Gratitude!

4. Get Crafty Our troops are…

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