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Essential Workplace Safety Facts for EHS Teams

Posted by EHS Insight Resources on August 26, 2019 at 10:07 AM

If you work in a high-risk industry, safety is an essential workplace initiative to keep in mind. It’s a front-of-mind priority to protect workers from harm.

Unfortunately, workplace safety remains an ongoing challenge for several industries. And there are several common factors regardless of the industry that put workers at risk.

Here are a few essential workplace safety facts that every EHS professional should keep in mind as they develop a workplace safety plan.

Workplace Injuries

One of the biggest concerns for EHS professionals across the board is workplace injuries and how to prevent them.

Unfortunately, workplace injuries happen far more often than you think. A worker is injured on the job every seven seconds. That’s 510 workers per hour, 12,600 workers per day, 88,500 workers per week, and 4.6 million workers per year.

And make no mistake: safety-related injuries are expensive.

The total cost of workplace injuries was $161.5 billion in 2017, or about $1,100 per worker injury and $1.15 million per worker death. The cost also comes out in lost time – workplace injuries resulted in a total of 104 million days off of work. About 70 million days were lost due to work-related injuries acquired that year, while 34 million resulted from injuries acquired in previous years.

The most common workplace injuries include:

  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Transportation and vehicle-related accidents
  • Repetitive stress injuries and overexertion

Keep in mind, however, that there are many other workplace injuries. After these three types, the most common were equipment-related injuries and injuries resulting from fire and explosions.

Of those injuries, overexertion, equipment accidents, and slip/trip/fall accidents were most likely to result in days away from work.

At-Risk Workplaces

All workplaces carry some degree of risk, but some workplaces are riskier than others.

As of 2018, the 10 most dangerous jobs in the United States are:

  1. Fishers and fishing-related occupations (99.8 fatal work injury rate)
  2. Logging workers (84.3 fatal work injury rate)
  3. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers (48.6 fatal work injury rate)
  4. Roofers (45.2 fatal work injury rate)
  5. Refuse and recyclable material collectors (35.0 fatal work injury rate)
  6. Structural iron and steel workers (33.4 fatal work injury rate)
  7. Truck drivers and other transportation workers (26.8 fatal work injury rate)
  8. Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers (24.0 fatal work injury rate)
  9. Grounds maintenance workers (21.0 fatal work injury rate)
  10. Electrical power-line installers and repairers (18.7 fatal work injury rate)

The five occupations with workplace injuries most likely to result in days away from work include:

  1. Service (including firefighters and police)
  2. Transportation and shipping
  3. Manufacturing and production
  4. Installation, maintenance, and repair
  5. Construction

This makes sense when you remember that some of the most common work-related injuries (slips/trips/falls, transportation, and repetitive stress) are far more likely in occupations that require manual labor in high-risk work environments.

Common Workplace Safety Violations

Sadly, not every workplace does enough to keep workers safe from harm. As of 2018, the most commonly cited OSHA violations include:

  • Fall protection (construction)
  • Hazard communication standards (general industry)
  • Scaffolding general requirements (construction)
  • Respiratory protection (general industry)
  • Control of hazardous energy (general industry)
  • Ladders (construction)
  • Powered industrial trucks (general industry)
  • Fall protection training requirements
  • Machinery and machine guarding
  • Eye and face protection

You’ll notice that the construction industry is a common player in these violations. The Fatal Four of construction (falls, struck-by-object accidents, electrocutions, caught-in-between accidents) should come as no surprise.

Utilizing Workplace Safety Facts

Knowing workplace safety facts is the first step towards keeping your employees and colleagues safe.

But if you’re ready to take the next step, it’s time to invest in the right tools. That’s where we come in. We know that your workplace hazards are evolving, which is why we make EHS software solutions that adapt with you.

Ready to invest in your employees? Get in touch today to learn more.

Topics: Workplace Health and Safety, Risk Management, Compliance, EHS Management, Incident Management, Safety Management

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