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.
Understanding incident management
The concept of incident management encompasses a variety of preventive and reactive workplace safety strategies and solutions, according to EHS Today. These processes hinge ondata - specifically risk assessment information that covers the many interdependencies that exist within an operation. For example, when an industrial firm understands that minute administrative workflows in purchasing directly affect hazardous material management processes, it can ensure that acquisition personnel acquire the individual protective equipment needed to keep employees safe as they handle caustic raw material or byproduct. This is an example of a preventive incident management process.
"OSHA distributed more than 58,700 violations in 2016 and assessed financial penalties totaling over $1.4 billion."
Reactive functions unfold following an injury - these include emergency medical, claims management and long-term disability management services. In addition to these activities, firms with strong incident management strategies support worksite investigation practices. This allows them to understand the variables that led to a specific workplace safety lapse and collect insights that can be used for preventive purposes, according to OSHA. Again, data is the key here, allowing operational and EHS leaders to learn from their mistakes and develop and deploy improved workflows that not only bolster productivity and protect employees but also lead to reductions in expenses associated with workers' compensation payouts and fines. OSHA distributed more than 58,700 violations in 2016 and assessed financial penalties totaling over $1.4 billion.
Implementing incident management processes
Many organizations leave themselves open to serious workplace safety lapses and the fines and losses in productivity that often follow them. Why? A large number of business leaders fail to grasp how large a role EHS operations play in bolstering the bottom line, according to the National Safety Council.
The business case for investment in incident management processes and similar workflows is clear. For example, the NSC found that 60 percent of chief financial officers see returns of $2 or more for each $1 they spend on EHS strategy and technology development.
Businesses looking to leave antiquated notions regarding workplace safety behind and embrace incident management protocols that build the groundwork for safer, more prosperous operations should start by bolstering their data collection capabilities via Incident Management Software. Here at ProcessMAP we produce such solutions, lending organizations the power to gather sharp shop floor insights and cultivate cultures of safety while boosting productivity and reducing the likelihood of violations.
Connect with us today to learn more about our technology.