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OSHA Revamps Protocol with New Campaign

Friday, March 24, 2017

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is calling on employers to update their safety protocols with the recently launched “Safe and Sound Campaign.”

The program, being promoted in OSHA's Region 7, comes on the heels of 12 fatality inspections in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska in the period of Oct. 1, 2016 through Feb. 1, 2017. That number is up from seven during the same period last year. OSHA found a significant increase in fatalities associated with confined space entry, trenching and excavating, and workers being struck by motor vehicles. Region 7 covers Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

Photos: U.S. Department of Labor, Public Domain via Flickr

OSHA has also taken this opportunity to remind companies that the administration offers compliance assistance to small- and medium-sized business at no charge.

OSHA cites that each year, more than 4 million workers suffer series job-related injuries or illnesses causing companies to spend about $1 billion per week on workers’ compensation, meaning not only do workplace incidents hurt workers and their families, they also cost businesses money. The “Safe and Sound Campaign” aims to curb both.

"By identifying and controlling job-related hazards that can lead to injuries and illnesses, businesses can improve their safety and health programs, save money and improve competitiveness,” said Kim Stille, OSHA’s Regional Administrator in Kansas City.

OSHA has also taken this opportunity to remind companies that the administration offers compliance assistance to small- and medium-sized business at no charge.

"We don't want businesses, especially small ones, to believe they cannot afford to protect their workers. OSHA provides good safety information and will work with employers to help them comply with safety and health standards," Stille said.

"We don't want businesses, especially small ones, to believe they cannot afford to protect their workers. OSHA provides good safety information and will work with employers to help them comply with safety and health standards," said Kim Stille, OSHA’s Regional Administrator in Kansas City.

Last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released findings that fatalities in the private construction industry rose 4 percent between 2014 and 2015 (from 899 to 927), and while the injury rate declined about 0.1 percent, it was still more than the average of all other U.S. industries.

Too often companies take a reactive approach to health and safety, according to the administration, and part of OSHA’s updated Guidelines for Safety and Health Programs and new Recommended Practices (a do-it-yourself option of the “Safe and Sound Campaign”) is the recommendation that companies be proactive with their programs.

While there are many different approaches to this, OSHA says that all effective programs share three core elements:

  • Management leadership. Top management commits to establishing, maintaining and improving the program continually, and provides any necessary resources.
  • Worker participation. Employers invite workers to identify solutions. Improved worker engagement can lead to better productivity, higher job satisfaction and worker retention—lowering turnover and recruitment costs.
  • A systematic "find and fix" approach. Employers and workers examine their workplaces, proactively and routinely, to identify and address hazards before they can cause injury or illness.

More information is available at www.osha.gov/consultation.

   

Tagged categories: Business conditions; Business management; Business matters; Department of Labor; Health and safety; OSHA; OSHA; Safety

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