Despite most employers trying to ensure the safety of their staff, unfortunately, fatal workplace accidents can and do happen. In recent years, there have been a number of statistics that suggest workplace fatalities are steadily increasing in the US. Across the US, the number of fatal workplace injuries increased by 7 per cent between 2015 and 2016, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
In addition to this, The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently published a list based on data from 2018. Stats showed that the number of worker fatalities increased by 2% from 2017, with 5,147 in 2017 and 5,250 in 2018. The BLS also evaluated professions based on the fatal work injury rate and saw that certain industries had a much higher fatality rate than others. Professions that made the top 10 were:
- Logging workers
- Fishers and related fishing workers
- Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
- Refuse and recyclable material collectors
- Driver/sales workers and truck drivers
- Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers
- Structural iron and steelworkers
- First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers
- First-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping workers
But why do the number of fatalities continue to increase? Many believe that workplace accidents often occur due to a lack of health and safety policies and proper risk assessments within the workplace. Without thorough risk assessments in place, employers are unable to identify the risks that their staff face and put plans in place to help mitigate them.
Another common reason for workplace injuries is a lack of education amongst staff. This could be workers not knowing how to safely carry out aspects of their role or not knowing how best to handle an accident at work. Individuals who work with heavy machinery, from height, underground or with dangerous substances should always have thorough training beforehand to help minimise risk. Failure to properly train staff could result in the number of accidents and fatalities happening at work increasing. Companies can also incur charges and hefty fines due to negligence.
Protecting your staff
To identify health and safety hazards amongst staff, thorough risk assessments should be carried out regularly and any risks identified should then be assessed and mitigated. You can find out more about risk assessments here.
Lone worker app
StaySafe provides employers with a low cost, easy to use solution to help manage the safety of their lone workers. Comprised of an app and online hub, StaySafe provides employers with real-time updates on employee’s safety status and location while they work.
StaySafe also allows regular communication between employee and employer through a session check-in feature, which can be customised according to the organisation’s needs.
The app includes a man down feature which can alert monitoring services if an employee has not moved or checked-in for a prolonged period of time. If an employee feels threatened or under attack, they can also raise an alarm discreetly by using the phone’s power button.
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