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

Safe Patient Handling

Overexertion incidents are the leading source of workers’ compensation claims and costs in healthcare settings. The primary outcome associated with such incidents are musculoskeletal disorders MSDs. MSD risks are found in housekeeping, food service and other areas where workers manually handle heavy, awkward loads or perform repetitive forceful hand work. The single greatest risk factor for MSDs in healthcare workers is the manual moving and repositioning of patients, residents or clients. Rising obesity rates in the United States impact the physical demands on caregivers. The aging of the workforce likely contributes to the problem; the average age of a registered nurse in the U.S. is approximately 47 years. Also contributing to the negative health consequences of manual handling is the shortage of nurses—Peter Buerhaus, a researcher at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has estimated that there will be a shortage of 250,000 nurses by the year 2025 in the US.

via CDC – Safe Patient Handling – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic.

Avoid Exposure to Bloodborne Infectious Diseases

Exposures to blood and other body fluids occur across a wide variety of occupations. Health care workers, emergency response and public safety personnel, and other workers can be exposed to blood through needlestick and other sharps injuries, mucous membrane, and skin exposures. The pathogens of primary concern are the human immunodeficiency virus HIV, hepatitis B virus HBV, and hepatitis C virus HCV. Workers and employers are urged to take advantage of available engineering controls and work practices to prevent exposure to blood and other body fluids.

via CDC – Bloodborne Infectious Diseases – HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic.

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 |

10 Most Dangerous Jobs in America

Before you complain about punching the time clock, read this list for some perspective. Maybe the coffee stinks and you don’t like your boss, but at least the threat of death or injury isn’t perpetually hanging over your head. The order may change from year to year, but these are typically the most dangerous jobs in America.

1. Logger

2. Pilot

3. Fisher

4. Iron/Steel Worker

5. Garbage Collector

6. Farmer/Rancher

7. Roofer

8. Electrical Power Installer/Repairer

9. Sales, Delivery, and Other Truck Driver

10. Taxi Driver/Chauffeur

via HowStuffWorks “10 Most Dangerous Jobs in America”.

Warning – Confined Space

Confined Spaces can be dangerous.

“Confined Space” refers to a space which by design has limited openings for entry and exit, unfavorable natural ventilation which could contain or produce dangerous air contaminants, and which is not intended for continuous employee occupancy. Confined spaces include but are not limited to storage tanks, compartments of ships, process vessels, pits, silos, vats, degreasers, reaction vessels, boilers, ventilation and exhaust ducts, sewers, tunnels, underground utility vaults, and pipelines. According to data collected by the U.S. Department of Labor USDOL, Bureau of Labor Statistics BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries CFOI program, fatal injuries in confined spaces fluctuated from a low of 81 in 1998 to a high of 100 in 2000 during the five-year period, averaging 92 fatalities per year.

via CDC – Confined Spaces – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic.

Older Workers To Outnumber Younger Employees For The First Time

Whether out of economic need or simply a desire to continue working, many baby boomers aren’t leaving their jobs anytime soon.

In fact, many workers 55 and older are staying in the workforce. By year’s end their numbers will surpass those who are aged 25 to 34. And the trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future — until 2020.

via Older Workers To Outnumber Younger Employees For The First Time.

Stop the Strain at Work

Overexertion has long been among the leading causes of nonfatal workplace injuries, and attempts to combat it continue to be a burden on employers and their pocketbooks.  An estimated 3.5 million overexertion injuries occur every year, most of which are from excessive lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling or carrying. Back injuries are the most common form of overexertion in the workplace and can result in huge costs. According to a 2010 report from the Boston-based Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, in 2008, overexertion cost businesses $13.4 billion in direct workers’ compensation costs – accounting for more than 25 percent of the overall $53.4 billion national burden.

via 6 11 Stop the Strain.