You know the drill. You follow the regulations that OSHA puts into place so that your company is up to standards and you don’t get hit with fines and citations. But that’s not all you should be doing to keep your employees safe and healthy.
OSHA’s regulations are minimum requirements that must be met, not an absolute guarantee of safety. Employers who meet the bare minimum are not holding themselves responsible for employee health and safety at all, and that can be harmful for everyone—including your company.
If that’s not reason enough to improve, these five statistics alone help to reinforce the many reasons why you need a safety program in your organization:
Statistics on Workplace Injuries and Fatalities in the U.S.
1. Since 1970, workplace deaths have been reduced by more than 60%, and occupational injuries have declined 40% (source)
This is largely thanks to the formation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the many interconnected authorities that began making a serious effort toward workplace safety. When attention is brought to workers’ safety, workplace safety is improved drastically.
2. According to OSHA, eliminating the “Fatal Four” could save the lives of around 631 workers in the United States each year (source).
More than 50 employees die on the job every single month in the United States from these four causes. Focusing on just the four most common causes of workplace fatalities could literally save hundreds of lives in one year.
3. 2016 saw 5,190 reported workplace fatalities—that’s about 14 deaths on the job every single day (source).
Millions of lives are risked and thousands of lives are lost on the job every year. With such great odds of death, the importance of workplace safety cannot be emphasized enough. The only way to reduce this number is to go above and beyond basic requirements to really strive for a safe workplace.
4. There were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2016 (source).
Nearly three million injuries occurred, and how many could have been prevented? There’s a fine line between nonfatal workplace injuries and workplace fatalities. No matter how minor an injury, we should always work to improve our safety.
5. Over half of the approximately 2.9 million private industry injury and illness cases reported in 2015 involved days away from work, job transfer, or restriction (DART) (source).
Employees are entitled to their sick time, but when employees are taking time off because of problems occurring on the job, the company suffers. It’s important to take care of employees so that they are healthy on and off the clock.
What Can You Do?
Implement a safety program. It may take some time, but you can start small. Beginning with a good safety program can help you to create a safety culture in your company. Companies with strong safety cultures are known to have noticeably lower injury and fatality rates than other companies in the same industries.
The U.S. has come a long way in their safety efforts on a national level and in reducing the numbers across the board, but there is still a long way to go. By creating a quality safety program in your company, you can help to reduce the injury and fatality statistics for good.