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.).

New! “OSHA Updates Its Required Workplace Safety Poster”

poster_largeThe last time OSHA updated the “It’s the Law” poster was in 2007. Now the agency is out with a new version that incorporates new injury reporting obligations for employers. Existing posters do not need to be replaced, but I’d suggest that you post the new one for your employees to be informed as well.

♦ What is the OSHA poster and why do I need it?

The OSHA Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law poster, available for free from OSHA, informs workers of their rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. All covered employers are required to display the poster in their workplace. Employers do not need to replace previous versions of the poster. Employers must display the poster in a conspicuous place where workers can see it.

If you are in a state with an OSHA-approved state plan, there may be a state versionof the OSHA poster. Federal government agencies must use the Federal Agency Poster.

♦ How do I get a copy?

Note: Please don’t fall prey to companies that call you and tell you that you need to buy them from “their” company.. You don’t! All of the posters that you’d like for your workplace are available FREE from OSHA. Follow the links on this post and  you can get any of the OSHA posters noted here for free.

You can get a copy of the OSHA poster in several ways:

  • Order a print copy online from the OSHA Publications Web page. The English version is publication number 3165. The Spanish version is publication number 3167.
  • Order a print copy by phone. Call OSHA’s toll-free number at 1-800-321-6742 (OSHA) or the OSHA Publications Office at 202-693-1888.
  • Download a copy from the OSHA Web site. Note: OSHA requires that reproductions or facsimiles of the poster be at least 8.5″ x 14″ inches with 10 point type. Please see the instructions below for downloading a compliant version of the poster.

Downloading Instructions:

  1. Right-click on the hyperlinks below to download the PDF version of the poster. Save the file to a directory of your choice, and then open the Adobe Acrobat Reader program to load the file. For best results, the files should not be printed directly from your Web browser.
  2. For local PC printing, it is recommended that you use a high-resolution laser or wax-transfer type printer for color reproductions, and that the printer have at least 1 MB of memory. For black and white reproductions, it is still advisable to use a laser printer which is capable of producing at least 300 dpi resolution.
  3. When preparing to print from a personal computer, check to ensure that the target printer has the ability to produce the proper paper size (the minimum size is 8.5 x 14 inches). Set the Adobe Acrobat printer settings to “Shrink to Fit” and make sure to select the proper paper tray.

NOTE: The particular variables and configurations for each printer may vary, so these instructions are only general.

♦ Is the poster available in other languages?

The poster is available in Korean, Nepali, Spanish, Chinese, Polish and Portuguese. (The Polish and Portuguese versions are available online only.)

OSHA regulations do not specify or require employers to display the OSHA poster in a foreign language. However, OSHA encourages employers with Spanish-speaking workers to also display the Spanish version of the poster.

See Posting requirements for notices in other languages (OSHA Letter of Interpretation, Nov. 12, 2004).

♦ What’s the law?

OSHA’s regulations on the OSHA poster are at 29 CFR 1903.2.

*Note: OSHA requires that reproductions or facsimiles of the poster be at least 8.5″ x 14″ inches with 10 point type.

Download Spanish PDF

Spanish Version Low Resolution

The new version of the 2015 poster will be available shortly in these languages. Employers can use any of the posters below.

Additional Languages

Additional Links

How to Write a Good Accident or Incident Report

An incident report needs to include all the essential information about the accident or near-miss. The report-writing process begins with fact finding and ends with recommendations for preventing future accidents.

You may use a special incident reporting form, and it might be quite extensive. But writing any incident report involves four basic steps, and those are the focus of today’s post.

1. Find the Facts

To prepare for writing an accident report, you have to gather and record all the facts. For example:

· Date, time, and specific location of incident

· Names, job titles, and department of employees involved and immediate supervisor(s)

· Names and accounts of witnesses

· Events leading up to incident

· Exactly what employee was doing at the moment of the accident

· Environmental conditions (e.g. slippery floor, inadequate lighting, noise, etc.)

· Circumstances (including tasks, equipment, tools, materials, PPE, etc.)

· Specific injuries (including part(s) of body injured and nature and extent of injuries)

· Type of treatment for injuries

· Damage to equipment, materials, etc.

2. Determine the Sequence

Based on the facts, you should be able to determine the sequence of events. In your report, describe this sequence in detail, including:

· Events leading up to the incident. Was the employee walking, running, bending over, squatting, climbing, lifting operating machinery, pushing a broom, turning a valve, using a tool, handling hazardous materials, etc.?

· Events involved in the incident. Was the employee struck by an object or caught in/on/between objects? Did the worker fall on the same level or from a height? Did the employee inhale hazardous vapors or get splashed with a hazardous chemical?

· Events immediately following the incident. What did the employee do: Grab a knee? Start limping? Hold his/her arm? Complain about back pain? Put a hand over a bleeding wound? Also describe how other co-workers responded. Did they call for help, administer first aid, shut down equipment, move the victim, etc.?

The incident should be described on the report in sufficient detail that any reader can clearly picture what happened. You might consider creating a diagram to show, in a simple and visually effective manner, the sequence of events related to the incident and include this in your incident report. You might also wish to include photos of the accident scene, which may help readers follow the sequence of events.

3. Analyze

Your report should include an in-depth analysis of the causes of the accident. Causes include:

· Primary cause (e.g., a spill on the floor that caused a slip and fall)

· Secondary causes (e.g., employee not wearing appropriate work shoes or carrying a stack of material that blocked vision)

· Other contributing factors (e.g., burned out light bulb in the area).

4. Recommend

Recommendations for corrective action might include immediate corrective action as well as long-term corrective actions such as:

· Employee training on safe work practices

· Preventive maintenance activities that keep equipment in good operating condition

· Evaluation of job procedures with a recommendation for changes

· Conducting a job hazard analysis to evaluate the task for any other hazards and then train employees on these hazards

· Engineering changes that make the task safer or administrative changes that might include changing the way the task is performed

OSHA 300 Log – “Reminder: Post Your 2014 OSHA Recordkeeping Annual Summary By February 1, 2015″


OSHA Form 300A: A step-by-step guide

OSHA Form 300A: A Step-by-Step Guide by Safety.BLR.com

Download OSHA 300 Log Kit Here: https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/OSHArecordkeepingforms.pdf

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“Surprise OSHA Inspection???”……”What to Expect”


“OSHA Announces Top 10 Violations For Fiscal Year 2014″

OSHA Top 10 Cited in 2014

Speaking at the 2014 National Safety Council Congress and Expo, Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, shared preliminary numbers for the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards in fiscal year (FY) 2014. Keep reading to find out what made the cut this year and how you can avoid these common hazards in your facility.

While some items on the list shifted position within the top ten, all of the standards on this year’s list made an appearance last year. Notably, the top four violations—fall protection in construction, hazard communication, scaffolding in construction, and respiratory protection—appeared in exactly the same order in FY 2013 and FY 2012.

While the ranking of the top ten violations remains relatively static compared to previous years, the total number of violations cited is somewhat lower than the FY 2013 figure. This is partially due to the 3-week government shutdown in October 2013, during which OSHA lost the opportunity to conduct between 1,400 and 1,500 inspections. However, Kapust emphasized that OSHA is working to make up for the lost time, and the numbers are preliminary.

The top 10 most frequently cited standards for FY 2014 are as follows:

  1. Fall protection in construction (29 CFR 1926.501): 6,143 violations. Lack of fall protection has been a leading offender for several years. Common mistakes under this standard include failing to provide fall protection to employees working at heights, unprotected sides and edges, failing to use fall protection equipment correctly, and failing to provide protection from falling objects. In many cases, a fall protection program is completely nonexistent. Roofing and framing contractors, as well as single-family residential construction employers, are frequent violators of the fall protection standard.
  2. Hazard communication (29 CFR 1910.1200): 5,161 violations. Common hazard communication mistakes include failing to have a written program, failing to have safety data sheets (SDSs) for each chemical in the workplace, labeling mistakes, lack of employee training, and failing to provide employees with information on the hazards of the chemicals in the workplace. Significantly, Kapust commented that the 2012 changes to the hazard communication standard did not correspond to a significant number of violations; rather, most HazCom violations deal with much more basic mistakes that would also have been violations under the previous version of the standard.
  3. Scaffolding in construction (29 CFR 1926.451: 4,029 violations. Citations under the construction industry scaffolding standard often stem from scaffolds that are not fully planked, a lack of portable or hook ladders to access scaffold platforms, loading scaffolds in excess of their capacity, and failing to protect employees from fall hazards on scaffolds.
  4. Respiratory protection (29 CFR 1910.134): 3,223 violations. Lack of a written program is the most commonly cited part of the respiratory protection standard. Other common mistakes include not performing a medical evaluation on employees who must wear respirators, failing to select and provide a respirator appropriate for the activity, failing to conduct fit testing, and failing to train employees.
  5. Lockout/tagout (29 CFR 1910.147): 2,704 violations. Many citations are issues under the lockout/tagout standard for the complete lack of a hazardous energy control program. Other common mistakes include failing to apply locks and tags as necessary and failing to remove unauthorized employees from the area during equipment service and maintenance. Notably, Kapust mentioned that lack of training was not one of the most frequently cited parts of the standard, which he attributed to the fact that employers who fail to provide training often lack a lockout/tagout program altogether and thus would be cited for that instead.
  6. Powered industrial trucks (29 CFR 1910.178): 2,662 violations. Lack of operator training is the most common pitfall under this standard. Other common mistakes include forklifts that are not in safe operating condition and modifications and additions that are not approved by the forklift manufacturer. Industries that frequently violate this standard include warehousing and storage and machine shops.
  7. Electrical, wiring methods (29 CFR 1910.305): 2,490 violations. Citations under this standard often occur when flexible cords are used in place of fixed wiring, conductors enter boxes unprotected, employees are exposed to live contacts, and circuit boxes are not designed to prevent moisture from entering.
  8. Ladders in construction (29 CFR 1926.1053): 2,448 violations. Common ladder hazards include using a ladder not designed for the load it is carrying, using extension ladders that do not provide enough overhang at the top to ensure stability, and using an inappropriate type of ladder for the job.
  9. Machine guarding (29 CFR 1910.212): 2,200 violations. To prevent machine guarding violations, employers should make sure to guard point of operation hazards, ingoing nip points, blades, rotating parts, and any other part of the machinery that may pose a hazard. Make sure that guards remain in place and are not removed by employees.
  10. Electrical, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.303): 2,056 violations. To prevent these citations, employers should ensure that qualified and unqualified workers are appropriately trained for their job tasks to avoid electric shock and electrocution.

Source: BLR® See original post here:



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