June is National Safety Month, where employee safety is the focus in an effort to reduce the leading causes of injury and deaths at work, along with injuries on the road, in our homes and our communities. The National Safety Council provides on-line resources on different safety topics throughout the month of June. Topics for 2019 are hazard recognition; slips, trips and falls; fatigue; and impairment.
According to Injury Facts®, preventable workplace deaths totaled 4,414 in 2017, the fourth year in a row this number has increased. And, for every worker lost, countless loved ones, co-workers and friends are obviously affected. The construction, transportation, warehousing and agriculture industries lead in the number of preventable deaths in 2016-2017.
The top leading causes of work-related injuries, according to Injury Facts®, include overexertion and bodily reaction; contact with objects and equipment; and slips, trips and falls, which combined are responsible for more than 85% of all non-fatal injuries requiring days away from work. Overexertion and bodily reaction includes non-impact injuries that result from excessive physical effort directed at an outside source, including activities such as lifting, pushing, turning, holding, carrying or throwing; and repetitive motion that results in stress or strain on some part of the body. The rate for these types of injuries is 30 per 10,000 full-time workers with 45 to 54 year olds at most risk with the back being the most frequent part of the body that gets hurt. Transportation and warehousing are the industry sectors most at risk for these types of injuries.
Injuries as a result of contact with objects and equipment include a moving object striking a worker; a worker bumping into, stepping on, kicking or being pushed or thrown onto an object; a part of a worker’s body being squeezed, pinched, compressed or crushed in equipment; and a worker being struck, caught or crushed in collapsing structures, equipment or material; among other types of impact. The rate for these types of injuries is 23.2 per 10,000 full-time workers with 16 to 24 years old most at risk. Agriculture, construction and transportation and warehousing top the industries at most risk for these injuries.
Slips, trips and falls include the following types of events: slips and falls occurring when a worker catches himself or herself from falling; falling on the same level; falling to a lower level, including from a collapsing structure, ladder, roof, scaffolding or other structures; and jumping to a lower level. Injury rate for slips, trips and falls is 23.1 per 10,000 full-time workers with the age group of 55 and over most at risk. Transportation, warehousing and agriculture are the industries most at risk.
Implementing robust safety measures is critical in preventing workplace injuries and saving lives. It’s also an important component in managing one’s experience modification rate and Workers’ Compensation insurance premiums. During National Safety Month, we recommend that you underscore the need for insureds to revisit their safety and risk management procedures to ensure that they are being properly implemented throughout the entire organization.