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Just take a look at OSHA’s Fat Cat report and the most common theme on the fatality report is a fall, usually from some sort of construction job site. Fall from heights is the leading cause of injuries and fatalities in construction, accounting for one-third of on-the-job injury deaths in the industry. Each year in the U.S., more than 200 construction workers are killed and over 10,000 are seriously injured, and the statistics for 2016 show that of the 991 construction fatalities, falls accounted for 370. 

Overall, fatality injuries in construction are higher than any other industry in the United States, with the majority of them occurring in establishments with fewer than 20 employees. About two-thirds of those fatal falls were from roofs, scaffolds and ladders. 

Many, if not all, of these deaths could have been prevented with these common-sense safety precautions* including:

Planning ahead to do the job safely before starting each and every job.

Providing the right equipment for working at heights.

Training workers to use the equipment properly and to work safely on roofs, ladders and scaffolds

Preventing Roof Falls

Do's:

Wear a harness and always stay connected

Make sure your harness fits

Use guardrails or lifelines

Guard or cover all holes, openings and skylights

Don’t’s

Don’t disconnect from the lifeline

Don’t work around unprotected openings or skylights

Don’t use defective equipment

Preventing Ladder Falls

Do’s

Choose the right ladder for the job

Maintain three points of contact

Secure the ladder

Always face the ladder

Don’t’s

Don’t overreach

Don’t stand on top or on the top step of a stepladder

Don’t place the ladder on unlevel footing

Preventing Scaffolds Falls

Do’s

Use fully planked scaffolds

Ensure proper access to scaffolds

Plumb and level

Complete all guardrails

Ensure stable footing

Inspect before use

Don’t’s

Don’t use a ladder on top of the scaffold

Don’t stand on guardrails

Don’t climb cross-braces

*DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 2012-142, Fall Prevention Fact Sheet - http://stopconstructionfalls.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Campaign-Fact-Sheet.pdf

Even though construction falls are the majority of fatality-related falls, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 261,000 private industry and state and local government workers miss one or more days of work yearly due to injuries from falls on the same level or to lower levels. Fall injuries are a big financial burden, accounting for an estimated $70 billion annually in the United States through workers’ compensation and medical costs associated with occupational fall incidences. 

To increase awareness for fall prevention, OSHA incorporated National Safety Stand-Down Week five years ago. This year’s event takes place May 7-11. OSHA is asking employers to set some time aside during that week to have an open discussion with employees about falls and how to prevent them. Workplace Safety and Health Co. is here to help you lower employee injury rates. Give us a call at 317-253-9737.

The percentage of crashes involving drowsiness is nearly eight times higher than federal estimates indicate, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The travel organization is promoting the reuslts of a recent study as the most in-depth drowsy driving research ever conducted in the U.S. using footage of everyday drivers.

Read entire article - http://newsroom.aaa.com/2018/02/drowsy-driving-dont-asleep-wheel/

Tagged in: drowsy driving

A CDC study on occupational asthma deaths in the United States finds an estimated 3,664 to 6,994, or approximately 204 to 389 annually from 1999 to 2016, that could be attributable to occupational exposures and were therefore potentially preventable. Published Jan. 19 in MMWR, the study indicates the highest asthma death rates were among adults ages 55–64 and that asthma mortality was significantly elevated among men in food, beverage, and tobacco products manufacturing, other retail trade, and miscellaneous manufacturing, and among women in social assistance.

Read entire article - https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6702a2.htm?s_cid=mm6702a2_e#contribAff

Tagged in: asthma deaths CDC

Did you know homicide is the fourth leading cause of a workplace death? Workplace violence is a serious occupational hazard, and it has ranked in the top four causes of death in the workplace for the past 15 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), of the 4679 fatal workplace injuries that occurred in the United States in 2014, 403 were workplace homicides.

Workplace violence is defined as violence or the threat of violence against workers, and nearly two million American workers report having been victims each year. It can occur at or outside the workplace and can be any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation or other threatening disruptive behavior. Workplace violence can strike anywhere. Some occupations are at a higher risk, including workers who exchange money with the public, deliver passengers, goods or services, or work alone or in small groups during late nights or early mornings in high crime areas, but no one is immune.

Too often in today’s headlines, we hear stories of workplace and school shootings or the late night Uber rides that end up as tragedies, and we are left wondering what can be done. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s (OSH Act) General Duty Clause, employers are required to provide a safe and healthful workplace for their workers. This might be easier to accomplish when thinking about safely working equipment, being provided with safety gear such as gloves and hats or even being protected from toxic chemicals, but protection against workplace violence?

Well, there are steps that can be taken. First and foremost, the best protection employers can offer is to establish a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence against or by their employees as well as having a workplace violence prevention program. Workplace violence policies should be included into accident prevention programs, employee handbooks or the manual of standard operating procedures, and they should cover what conduct is unacceptable, what to do if they witness or are subjected to workplace violence, and how to protect themselves.

OSHA offers a fact sheet that covers how employers can help protect their employees, including securing the workplace and providing drop safes. Nothing can guarantee an employee will not become a victim of workplace violence, but the fact sheet covers some steps to hopefully reduce the odds, including learning how to recognize potentially violent situations and alerting supervisors of any concerns.

April is Workplace Violence Awareness Month, and Workplace Safety and Health Co. is ready to help your employees become more aware of the potential impacts of violence in the workplace and better equip themselves to help prevent, mitigate and respond to such incidents. Call us to learn about our workplace violence training program – 317-253-9737. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tagged in: workplace violence

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recently published its newly revised version of ISO 31000, Risk management – Guidelines.

According to the organization, the ISO 31000:2018 is a shorter and clearer guide to help organizations improve planning and decision-making through the use of risk management principles.

Read entire article - https://www.iso.org/news/ref2263.html

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