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.
Data analytics in manufacturing facilities has provided safety managers with in-depth knowledge on worker performance, efficiency, and even maintenance and operations. As manufacturers aim for operational excellence, data analytics is also helping to improve overall safety within facilities and plants. By gaining insight into safety-related issues, safety managers can proactively manage workplace risk and mitigate on-the-job injuries.
Workplace safety lapses continue to occur despite the development of preventive engineering solutions. Employers reported 2.9 million nonfatal worker injuries and illnesses in 2016, according to data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. More shockingly, more than 5,100 employees died on the clock over the same 12-month span. While both of these figures constitute historical lows, room for significant improvement exists. Environmental health and safety stakeholders can catalyze progress and see further reductions in worker injury and fatality rates by putting into place formalized incident management strategies and the tools that support them.
However, fine amounts have risen significantly over the same period. Now, those who receive serious violations incur penalties of $12,675 per safety infraction, while willful or repeat offenders - more than 6 percent of all violators recorded in 2016 - must pay fines of $126,749 per violation. In short, while many organizations are improving their health and safety protocols and allocating more resources toward compliance, they are likely to pay hefty penalties for the smallest of miscues.