A review of federal labor data, released last week, reveals a rise in workplace injuries and fatalities across some of the world’s most dangerous industries.
- The rate of fatal workplace injuries in the private construction industry was at its highest since 2008 with 899 fatalities
- Fatal workplace injuries in the private mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industries rose to 183, the highest since 2007
- The total number of fatal work injuries due to roadway incidents increased to a shocking 1,157 fatalities
- One of the greatest workplace risks, falls, slips and trips caused a total of 818 fatalities
- The number of workplace violence incidents at healthcare facilities is estimated to be as high as 88,000, four times higher than the incidents reported in 2011
- The final count of fatal work injuries in the United States in 2014 was 4,821
Despite greater awareness of workplace health and safety and a growing concern worldwide, these statistics show a shocking rise in workplace injuries and fatalities in the US.
Sadly, most of the fatalities accounted for above could have been avoidable had steps been taken to reduce workplace risk. Yet lives should not be lost due to carelessness and a slack approach to health and safety. And with a total of 4,821 workplace fatalities, the number of people effected by the deaths of these employees is incompressible.
So what should we take from this?
Simply put, more needs to be done to ensure the safety and welfare of employees particularly in those industries where workers are more vulnerable to accidents and violence. Regardless of which country a business operates in, there are health and safety legislations in place which, if followed, should prevent the majority of accidents from occurring.
While legislation may vary from country and region, the core principle remains the same; to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all employees as far as is reasonably possible.
Both governments and health and safety bodies offer guidance on how this should be achieved:
- Employ a health and safety professional within the organisation
- Create and maintain a safe work environment
- Carry out risk assessment on ALL locations and job roles
- Take steps to eliminate or reduce risk
- Prepare employees for any remaining risks through training, personal protective equipment and an understanding of the organisations health and safety policy
- Review risk assessment and policies regularly and whenever there is a change in the organisation
For organisations who employ lone workers or where employees regularly travel for or during work, it may be beneficial to implement a location and safety monitoring solution.
Not only will this provide peace of mind that a workforce is safe, when an accident or incident does occur, the employer can be alerted immediately allowing them to send help direct to the employees location, reducing the risk of an accident becoming a fatality.
Contact us today to find out how we can protect your lone workers should an accident occur.