#THANKFULTHURSDAY … You’ll often find this hashtag on Facebook and Twitter social media feeds — on Thursdays, of course. You’ll likely find it used more often this time of the year — what some people call “the season of thanksgiving,” “the season of thankfulness,” or “the season of gratitude.” Thankfulness is a positive attitude for all seasons, but the emphasis is stronger during the holiday season, starting with the week of the Thanksgiving holiday and running right on through Christmas and New Year’s Day. People just seem to be more reflective this time of the year.
At Safety Solutions & Supply, the team is thankful for the opportunity to help companies of all types, but particularly those in the more hazardous industries (manufacturing, construction, mining, and utility services, for example), improve their safety culture and reduce their worker accident rates.
We wonder: How many #ThankfulThursday social media posts can you or your company make with a positive safety report? How many days has your company gone without a lost-time incident or accident? We know about a major construction company, based in Winter Haven, Fla., that this past June celebrated more than a million man-hours with absolutely no lost-time accidents. As far as we know, the company has remained free of any lost-time accidents since June.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which provides many of the standards and mandates that guide the safety training offered by Safety Solutions & Supply, has an eye-opening website page — go here — full of statistics dealing with national workplace accidents. The statistics focus more on worker deaths than lost-time accidents, but the numbers are revealing nonetheless.
According to OSHA and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 4,836 workers were killed on the job in 2015 (3.4 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers). On average, that comes to more than 93 worker deaths a week or more than 13 deaths every day.
OSHA further reports that out of 4,379 worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2015, 937, or 21.4 percent, were in construction. The leading causes of private-sector worker deaths (excluding highway collisions) in the construction industry were falls, followed by struck by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between. (OSHA states that the caught-in/between category “includes construction workers killed when caught in or compressed by equipment or objects, and struck, caught, or crushed in collapsing structure, equipment, or material.”)
Despite these fatality numbers, OSHA reports that it and its inspector and training partners — like Safety Solutions & Supply — are making a positive difference for worker safety throughout the land. “In more than four decades, OSHA and our state partners, coupled with the efforts of employers, safety and health professionals, unions and advocates, have had a dramatic effect on workplace safety,” OSHA states. “Worker deaths in America are down, on average, from about 38 worker deaths a day in 1970 to 13 a day in 2015. Worker injuries and illnesses are down from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to 3.0 per 100 in 2015.”
The team at Safety Solutions & Supply is pleased to have a role in this positive trend in the rate of workplace accidents and, in particular, workplace-related deaths.