Workplace deaths on the rise; injuries/illnesses down
Workplace related deaths are rising as of last year while workplace illnesses have decreased. The top 3 non-fatal injuries being sprains, strains, tears.
There is a need to remain vigilant in protecting workers from death while continuing to also manage workplace safety to maintain overall individual health. Health affects safety and vice versa, so companies should take an integrated approach to enhance both their safety and health management capabilities.
The three most impacted industries for health and safety issues include:
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
- Health care and social assistance
(The health care/social assistance and manufacturing industries reported more than half (52.7 percent) of all private industry illness)
For workplace deaths, the leading cause by a wide margin is transportation incidents. The second cause is workplace violence… and both are on the rise.
The minorities suffering the largest increase in fatal injuries include Asian and African-American workers. Hispanic or Latino workers have actually seen a slight decrease in fatalities. In addition, foreign-born workers make up about 20% of the total fatal work injuries.
Age also is apparently playing a factor. Workers 55 and older saw a significant increase in fatal injuries when compared with other age groups. (In 1992 they made up about 20% of fatalities. By 2016 it was 36%.)
Steps to take in your company to avoid becoming one of the statistics:
- Complete a health and safety audit at least once a year. Make sure it identifies factors for high risk of both fatality as well as injury… particularly from musculoskeletal diseases.
- Be sure workers have a clear understanding of health and safety best practices.
- Enforce solid health & safety practices and reward employees for finding ways to reduce health and safety risks. (Fear of reporting issues is a huge factor that creates situations leading to injuries and fatalities.)
- Encourage workers to think about workplace procedures with the mindset “that all ill health and accidents are preventable”.
Are you looking for more information about workplace safety? Perhaps you have concerns about your own workplace? Get in touch with us today, we can advise you risk management how it relates to your workplace.