The year 2006 seems like a long time ago but events that shook its days will echo now and in the future. Take workplace accidents and fatalities as an example. Employees who met unfortunate incidents that year had their experiences permanently etched in newspapers and websites. Statistics will always have a record of their experience, even just as a part of a numerical figure.
A few months ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the update on the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2006. While there was a slight decrease of fatalities from 5,734 in 2005 to 5,703 in 2006, many industries and sectors saw a rise in their work-related injuries and deaths.
From this significant increase in fatalities, I bring you now the top 7 ways on using the 2006 Census to improve workplace safety:
1.Take mine safety seriously.
Everyone knows mining is serious business but some employers apparently forgot to wear their serious hats in 2006. So it happened that coal mining fatalities alone doubled that year compared to 2005. Mining fatalities, in general, were up 19 percent in 2006.
2.Go ahead, get yourself a fleet safety program.
While you’re at it, take inspiration in the 44 percent increase in aircraft-related fatalities in 2006. You wouldn’t want to end up dealing with something like one of the 44 multiple-fatality aircraft incidents that year. This figure looks small but it actually claimed 137 workers.
3.Wise up and pay attention to fall protection.
It’s high time we take aggressive measures in preventing fall-related fatalities. Two years ago, there was a 5 percent increase in fatal falls. This year, you could assume another rise with the series of multiple fall-related deaths just in the past six months.
You know what’s better than crossing your fingers that all ends well this year? Yes, that’s right, a better fall protection program for your employees.
4.Get on your feet and implement a fire prevention program.
You’ve probably seen enough of Hollywood films to know how scary fire and explosions can be. In 2006, the figures were even scarier when fatalities caused by these incidents rose to 26 percent.
Any company, whether in the manufacturing, construction or farming business, is a potential candidate of this disaster.That makes you a candidate unless you take action now with better safety steps.
5.Immunize yourself from harmful substances.
All you have to do is take a sip of a potion straight from the ancient rivers of the lost deserts of Africa.Yeah, we all hope it’s that easy and “Indiana-Jonesy” but this is the 21st century and even a single pill warding off all kinds of toxicities is yet to be invented.
The best antidote you can get for yourself is training. By training your employees in sanitation and proper handling of harmful substances, you never have to worry about safety in your workplace. Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that 2006 brought about a 12 percent increase in exposure to noxious, caustic or allergenic substances.
6.Indulge in a series of construction safety meetings.
That sounds tempting, doesn’t it? Well I bet you’d rather bore yourself this way than get a taste of tragedy in the workplace.If you think construction sites are not that dangerous, you might not have heard of the 1,226 fatal work injuries in 2006 just in this industry sector alone. That’s a 3 percent increase over the 2005 total. I could go on giving you more shocking details but I think you get the idea.
7.Dust off danger with better oil and gas extraction procedures.
Safety sure is a good cleaning agent.But you don’t want just any kind of safety procedure; you want it complete so you won’t miss any spot or soot. Otherwise, you’d end up in a big mess.
If you’re in the oil and gas extraction business, you’d be interested to know that this industry sector contributed a significant increase in fatalities in 2006.You know you don’t have to worry if you have a reliable safety program for your employees.
So what I’m driving at is basically this:These are facts based on numbers.And we all know numbers don’t lie.So again, for the nth time, read the OSHA guidelines that cover the kind of business you’re in.
Go over your present workplace safety program and evaluate how much it addresses your employees’ safety needs. If you think you’re missing something, then consider developing a better program for better safety.While you’re at it, consult some safety professionals who have years of experience in making safety a serious business.