In Part I of this 2-part series, we discussed commonly used strategies that may be used to target Reduction of Frequency. Specifically; how health and safety management software has encouraged many organizations to refocus and rededicate their current-state EHS training management system. Also, continuous improvement efforts have greatly enhanced traditional approaches with the digitization of behavior-based safety software applications. All of these are significant contributors on the path of frequency reduction – but a focus on severity reduction may be approached in an entirely different manner.
As a Safety professional, I have been on both sides of this question and different arguments are presented by different stakeholders.
- Should your organization have a risk function that operates autonomously from the EH&S Function, the debate may be more focused on reduction of severity.
- Should EH&S align with an operational component, the benchmark may be slanted towards reduction of frequency.
Metropolitan areas across the U.S. saw temperatures drop to historic lows during the first week of 2018, as frigid Arctic air circulated through the Midwest and Northeast, according to data from the Southeast Regional Climate center published on the Weather Channel. With lows falling below zero, families forewent the outdoor activities usually associated with winter for safety reasons. However, many workers braved the dangerous temperatures and wind chills to perform critical tasks, risking their health to keep utilities up and running or roads clear. It is likely such work will be required again over the next two months. With this in mind, businesses with extensive outdoor workforces should prepare their workers for the frigid cold.
The end of a year is a time for companies to reflect, review and, inevitably, make business-orientated resolutions for the next 12 months. Irrespective of the size of an organization, the roadmap for 2018 will have been planned, with the expectation being that stated goals will not only be achieved before the end of 2018, but also contribute to a healthy bottom line.
Companies that fail to provide their employees with a safe working environment are leaving themselves open to both legal action and federal citations. As our work/life balance continues to skew toward the workplace, there is an expectation that employers should be taking safety as seriously as they do the bottom line.
Representatives from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration recently announced the top 10 workplace safety violations for 2017. The agency personnel publicized the information during the National Safety Council Congress and Expo, as has become custom. Patrick Kapust, deputy director for the OSHA Directorate of Enforcement Programs, led the announcement and offered some historical context to the new data set, Safety and Health Magazine reported.
Construction workers face numerous physical hazards when navigating worksites. From multistory structures and moisture-slicked surfaces to overbearing power tools and large-scale industrial vehicles, builders encounter all manner of danger. While many employees in the industry manage to avoid sustaining injuries on the job, a significant number fall victim to various worksite hazards. In 2015, more than 930 workers were injured on construction sites, constituting approximately 21 percent of the all workplace injuries recorded that year, according to research from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. While many of these builders succumb to some of the traditional dangers mentioned above, others visited hospitals due to an under-the-radar yet equally debilitating threat: respirable crystalline silica.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has amended its workplace injury reporting requirements numerous times since Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970. In May 2016, the organization once again revised these regulations, releasing the "Final Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses," which required enterprises to keep electronic records detailing all worker injuries sustained on-site and submit this data for public consumption. The new rule, which carried an implementation date of Jan. 1, 2017 and a record submission start date of July 1, 2017, was designed to promote transparency and arm environmental health and safety researchers with the insights they needed to develop actionable, data-backed strategies for reducing worker injuries and fatalities.
Businesses embarking on environmental health and safety improvement activities sometimes balk at the notion of implementing new backend tools, such as compliance auditing software, that catalyze EHS growth. Installation can require considerable time and corporate resources. In the end, EHS stakeholders are reluctant to commit to these expenditures in fear of implementing solutions that generate paltry return on investment. However, powerful, well-tested compliance auditing solutions like the one we produce at ProcessMAP can reliably deliver optimal ROI, ultimately paying for themselves not long after the implementation process has concluded. How?
As we close out Day 2 of our annual User Conference, we’re sharing more of the insights, discussion topics and key trends our customers, industry analysts and executives are talking about at the show. Check out our Day 1 recap if you haven’t read it yet.