They say everything is bigger in Texas. So are its fatalities. In 2013, Texas reported 508 occupational deaths, leading the U.S. in the number of workplace incidents. California wasn’t too far behind with 396 deaths.
So, what were the leading causes of these fatalities?
We gathered occupational fatality data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a branch of the United States Department of Labor. Around 41% of workplace deaths were due to transportation related incidents, which, unfortunately, is common. Many people fall victim to inattentive drivers, and the likelihood of a crash is high. The chances of a fatal crash are higher if drivers don’t wear seatbelts to protect themselves. Violence took second with approximately 17% of on-site deaths. Falls, slips, and trips and contact with objects and equipment came in third and fourth respectively.
How can we reduce occupational fatalities?
Organizations are expected to follow the guidelines and to make big changes to the way they manage their employee safety. Increasing liabilities, new regulations, and other complex requirements are making it more important than ever for businesses to invest in software and resources to manage risks including workplace fatalities. How can you reduce some of the biggest risk factors?
- Transportation incidents are one of the most heavily focused on areas of workplace fatalities. Organizations can improve tracking and oversight within the supply chain and transport processes to minimize risks. Tracking driver hours, loads, and truck maintenance can reduce risks.
- Workplace violence has become a hot topic as it relates to liability. To reduce risks, employers need to invest in better employee oversight, tracking of incidents and overall dedication to improved training and team work.
- Falls and trips continue to remain a big factor and regulations in this area are more common. Training, task management, and overall maintenance can reduce some of these risks.
- Contact with objects and equipment are common areas of risk as well. Proper training, oversight, and improved overall equipment maintenance can help.
- Exposure to harmful substances is another area of risk. To reduce risks here, organizations need to proper follow all regulations and remain in compliance with OSHA guidelines.
Overall, the use of environmental health and safety protocols and task management systems can be effective at improving overall success in reducing fatalities and incidents in each of these areas. Ultimately, organizations need to be proactive when trying to work towards improvement in any of these areas.
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