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Safety in the News

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Every week, we bring you the latest headlines from the world of safety and keep you updated on the issues that matter most.

“Microchipping” the Future of Workplace Safety?

A microchip the size of a grain of rice may be the future of workplace safety and security. That according to employers who are now using “microchipping” with their employees.

Earlier this month, a Wisconsin-based technology firm called Three Square Market began implanting willing employees with radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology that allows them access to work-related operations – like opening doors, buying food in the cafeteria, logging onto their computer -- instead of using a badge or a credit card. More than 50 employees opted to have the chips implanted. The company is partnering with BioHax International in Sweden, which makes the chips.

However, experts tell SHRM Online that HR should be fully aware of the complications that may arise from "chipping" employees. Those include: personal privacy complaints; security lapses; workers' compensation claims should the chips cause medical complications; and the need to make medical and religious accommodations if chips become mandatory.

Learn what other developments are shaping the world of safety in 2017 - download our free eBook on the topic.

EHS Execs Want More Public Disclosure of Workplace Injuries

A new survey of over 400 Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) leaders shows the great majority (79%) believe public disclosure of workplace injuries and illnesses will encourage employers to improve workplace safety.

The poll was conducted by the EHS Daily Advisor and sponsored by a software services company called Sphera. Organizers say they conducted the survey “in response to OSHA's upcoming 1904 recordkeeping rule updates and what solutions are expected to help them with electronic submission.” Download the full survey.

Among the other key findings:

  • 47% of participants plan to leverage workplace injuries and illnesses information collected by OSHA from other peer firms for their own benchmarking purposes.
  • 53% of survey respondents expect to undertake, or have already undertaken, changes to the company's safety governance model due to this rule update.
  • 59% of participants deem web-based forms available from within the company network or Intranet to be a reasonable procedure for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses.
  • 35% of participants deem a mobile application a reasonable procedure for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses.

DEKRA recently published an infographic on other practices of High-Reliability Organizations.

Older People are Dying on the Job at a Higher Rate

Older people are dying on the job at a higher rate than workers overall – even as the rate of workplace fatalities decreases. That’s the conclusion of a new Associated Press (AP) analysis of federal statistics.

The AP says the overall workplace fatality rate for all workers – and for those 55 and older – decreased by 22% between 2006 and 2015. However, the rate of fatal accidents among older workers during that time period was 50%-65% higher than for all workers, depending on the year.

The U.S. government estimates that by 2024, older workers will account for 25% of the labor market. Experts say these numbers are a reflection of baby boomers rejecting traditional retirement at age 65 and continuing to work.

Health officials say physical changes associated with aging include gradually worsening vision and hearing impairment, reduced response time, balance issues and chronic medical or muscle or bone problems such as arthritis.

Read our recent blog post about the impact of the generations on workplace safety.

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Thursday, 24 September 2020