In this on-going series, we bring you the latest headlines from the world of safety and keep you updated on the issues that matter most.
This week, May 1 through 5, is construction safety week. As construction across the nation continues to grow, safety is becoming more critical than ever. The Construction Industry Safety Initiative (CISI) includes over 30 major contractors working alongside 60 companies with the goal of influencing builders across the nation to improve safe performance and elevate safety awareness to the next level. This year’s Safety Week focuses on hand safety. Event organizers encourage leaders to discuss an aspect of hand safety during each morning team meeting and through special activities.
A recent report found that more than 900 construction workers were killed in the US in a single year. Learn more about the senior leader’s role in preventing serious injuries and fatalities.
Bringing awareness and practical solutions to electrical-related hazards, the Electrical Safety Foundation International is leading the charge to reduce fires, fatalities, injuries, and property loss caused by electricity.
Every day, nearly seven children in America suffer sever shock or burns when they insert objects into electrical outlets and as many as 12 lose their lives every year. An annual average of 70 people die from electrical-caused accidents associated with consumer products. Electric shock drowning that occurs in marinas and swimming pools takes lives each year.
Work-related electrical fatalities occur every three days, on yearly average. Learn more about the special attention required to control electrical equipment likely to trigger incidents and take lives.
In a recent audit of OSHA, the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General determined that the occupational safety agency failed to ensure that employers correct cited hazards in about 16% of cases.
“For approximately one-third of all abated citations OSHA issued during FY 2015, employers abated the hazard during the inspection or within 24 hours of OSHA identifying the hazard. However, for hazards that were not abated immediately, OSHA took an average of 81 days from the inspection date to issue a citation, and it took even longer to issue repeat and willful citations,” the DOL report stated.
The audit report called on OSHA to “adjust or better enforce its policies on abatement documentation, timeframes for issuing citations, abatement verification at smaller construction sites, and documentation of employer history searches.”
Most safety audits tell us a lot about the state of functioning from a governance standpoint, but they don’t tell the whole story. To get a truer picture of safety functioning, organizations need to digger deeper. Learn more about moving your organization beyond regulatory compliance to a high-functioning state of safety commitment.
More than 70% of workplaces have been hurt by prescription drug abuse, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Safety Council. The survey found that opioid use at work is on the rise, causing decreased performance, absenteeism, injury, and even overdose. Only 19% of companies surveyed described themselves as prepared to deal with the issue, and 87% reported doubt about their ability to identify abuse in fellow workers.
With over 16,000 people dying every year from opioids, the NSC urges employers to take action now before it’s too late. Their four-step action plan calls for organizations to:
• Partner with insurance, medical, and EAP providers
• Reevaluate policy and testing for prescription drugs
• Invest in management and employee education
• Increase and ensure confidential access to help and treatment
Organizations can also address risks of addiction in the workplace by strengthening the culture in support of safe work practices. With a healthy culture grounded in safety and supported by leaders committed to worker health and wellbeing, individuals can find the help they need. Learn more about the benefits of driving change with safety.
90% of work-related eye injuries can be avoided simply by wearing eye protection, reports the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Every day nearly 2,000 workers sustain an eye injury in the US alone. Injuries range from simple strains to trauma that leads to permanent damage, vision loss, and blindness. The annual cost to employers is more than $300 million a year in lost time, treatment, and compensation. Part of the problem, the AAO states, is that workers aren’t using eye protection appropriate for the types of hazards they’re working with. They urge organizations to follow OSHA protocols and use eyewear approved by the American National Standards Institute.
With such a straightforward solution available, the question so often asked is: Why don’t people follow the rules of the worksite and wear PPE? The answer, it turns out, isn’t quite as simple.