Prevention through Design

One of the best ways to prevent and control occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities is to “design out” or minimize hazards and risks early in the design process. NIOSH is leading a national initiative called Prevention through Design PtD to promote this concept and highlight its importance in all business decisions.The concept of PtD can be defined as:Addressing occupational safety and health needs in the design process to prevent or minimize the work-related hazards and risks associated with the construction, manufacture, use, maintenance, and disposal of facilities, materials, and equipment.

A growing number of business leaders are recognizing PtD as a cost-effective means to enhance occupational safety and health.

via CDC – Prevention through Design – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic.

The Impact of Off-the-Job Injuries

“Off-the-job” injuries are injuries that involve employed people when they are not working. For example, a restaurant cook cuts his hand on a knife while fixing dinner at home or a truck driver who slides off an icy road while driving his car to work, hits a tree, and suffers a sprained wrist. These injuries occurred off-the-job. If similar injuries had occurred while in the restaurant or driving a truck, they would have been on-the-job injuries. If the cook and the truck driver had been retired, then the injuries would have been neither on-the-job nor off-the-job because the people were not employed. They would have been classified and nonwork injuries. Off-the-job injuries are of concern to employers because statistics show that for each on-the-job death due to unintentional injuries there are about twelve off-the-job deaths of workers due to unintentional injuries. And for each on-the-job injury involving lost time there are about three off-the-job injuries. There are about six times as many days lost from work due to off-the-job injuries as for on-the-job. Employers have to deal with the same disruptions to production and work schedules whether the injury occurred at work or away from work.

Source: National Safety Council

Small Business Assistance | Safety Pays Program

OSHAs “$afety Pays” program can help employers assess the impact of occupational injuries and illnesses on their profitability. This program uses a companys profit margin, the average costs of an injury or illness, and an indirect cost multiplier to project the amount of sales a company would need to cover those costs. The program is intended as a tool to raise awareness of how occupational injuries and illnesses can impact a companys profitability, not to provide a detailed analysis of a particular companys occupational injury and illness costs.

via OSHA Small Business Assistance | Safety Pays Program.

Gravity Can Kill – Fall Protection Saves Lives

The following tragic accident is an example of why it’s critical to wear fall protection.

A worker hanging cable was suspended about 18 feet in the air in the bucket of the truck, working with a a steel cable that was attached to utility poles on both sides of Central Avenue Pike.  The cable was stretched across the roadway.

A pickup truck drove over the cable, and the cable hooked on the rear bumper, causing the cable to stretch tight before breaking free.  The worker was hit by the cable and thrown from the bucket of the truck, then fell to the ground.

via Report: Worker hanging cable died after falling 18 feet to the ground |

The Five Steps of Risk Management Leads To Lower Cost

There are five steps to risk management:

  • Identify
  • Analyze
  • Control
  • Finance
  • Measure

The most important step is “Identify” because you can’t Analyze, Control, Finance or Measure what you don’t know. Insurance is “NOT” risk management. Insurance is “FINANCING” risk. Managing risk 365 days a year vs. buying insurance 1 day a year is the key to lowering the total cost of risk (TCOR) for business.

The Cost of Risk Formula

For those that run a business the “cost of risk” formula needs to be understood and managed because it directly effects the bottom line.

The formula looks like this:

Cost of Risk = Insurance (transfer risk to an insurance company by paying a premium) + Retention and Deductibles (The business portion of any loss of uninsured loss) + Inside Admin Costs (internal staff the handle safety training, claims handling, etc) + Outside Services ( Loss Control, Outside Experts, Health Coaches, Employee Assistance Plans) + Indirect Costs (Loss of productivity, Loss of Key Salesman resulting in Lost Customers, Absenteeism)

This formula is like gravity… it’s there whether you like it or not. Manage it and you thrive but mismanage it will cause you to fall hard.

OSHA – Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards

The following is a list of the top 10 most frequently cited standards following inspections of worksites by federal OSHA. OSHA publishes this list to alert employers about these commonly cited standards so they can take steps to find and fix recognized hazards addressed in these and other standards before OSHA shows up. Far too many preventable injuries and illnesses occur in the workplace.

  • 1926.451 – Scaffolding
  • 1926.501 – Fall Protection
  • 1910.1200 – Hazard Communication
  • 1910.134 – Respiratory Protection
  • 1910.147 – Lockout/Tagout
  • 1910.305 – Electrical, Wiring Methods
  • 1910.178 – Powered Industrial Trucks
  • 1926.1053 – Ladders
  • 1910.303 – Electrical, General Requirements
  • 1910.212 – Machine Guarding

via Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards.