Nobody ever wants to discuss fatalities in the workplace. More importantly, nobody wants to have to experience the devastation of a workplace fatality happening in their company. Having even a one-person death count can sink your business for life, either from losing too much money in a settlement or having your reputation tarnished within the community.
Having a fatality at your workplace is horrific for all parties involved and, in many cases, completely preventable.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 4,900 cases of occupational fatality were recorded in 2015. While not the highest year for occupational deaths in America, it’s alarming that this many workers in our country have been losing their lives at the workplaces that are supposed to give them and their families the means to live.
How are these deaths happening? How can we stop them? Let’s break it down:
As defined by the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, or other destructive behaviors that occur on work sites. Many employees never even humor the idea of their coworkers being a threat, but with homicide being the fourth leading cause of occupational fatalities and injuries, this is a problem that needs to be acknowledged.
- Enforce a zero-tolerance policy for workplace violence of any manner from any individual (employees, managers, customers, etc.)
- Implement an education program for employees and employers alike that outlines company policies regarding violence on the job
- Prepare employees for not only what could happen, but what to do if something does happen
Maybe you’re a construction worker working on a five story building and you’re not as careful as you should be. Maybe you’re a window washer on a rickety old lift. Maybe you repair the lights in gas station signs and your coworker isn’t following the right safety protocols. No matter the scenario, one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities is something everyone has had an actual nightmare about at least once: falling.
- Eliminate the possibility of wet or slippery surfaces on the work field
- Provide proper safety gear, such as helmets, and enforce use of said gear
- Assure that proper safety protocols are being followed by workers at all times
Contact With Equipment
You can’t successfully run any business without asking your employees to use tools and equipment of some sort. While the typical worksite’s most dangerous piece of equipment is a rusty staple remover, those in more industrial fields such as factory work or construction run a far higher risk of being killed by the very equipment they use daily.
- Regularly inspect equipment to make sure there are no malfunctions
- Do research on safety vulnerabilities applicable to equipment used on your worksite
- Offer consistent trainings to employees to keep workplace safety practices fresh in their minds
Workplace injuries are going to happen, but that doesn’t mean we can’t prevent them from taking lives. iReportSource gives workers an easy way to report workplace incidents. Just one safety report could save a life, and your company.