OSHA has recently launched its' ‘Safe and Sound Campaign’, an initiative which urges employers to review their safety and health programmes and reduce workplace injuries and deaths.
Between the months of 1st October 2016 and 1st February 2017, OSHA initiated 12 fatality inspections in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, an increase of seven fatalities in the same period a year ago.
Confined space entry, trenching and excavating fatalities showed a significant increase, while fatalities involving workers being stuck by motor vehicles doubled from 2 to 4 people in the same period. The ‘Safe and Sound’ campaign calls on employers to review their safety and health programs that protect workers.
Kim Stille, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City said:
“Workplace safety and health incidents hurt workers and their families, and they cost businesses' capital better invested in growing their business and creating jobs. 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. With just a phone call, companies can contact OSHA for assistance in achieving safety compliance. Working together with businesses, unions, and employees, we can reduce these sobering statistics and implement and sustain workplace safety and health programs that can help employees avoid preventable injuries and deaths."
Effective safety and health programs have long shown to reduce the numbers of workplace injuries and illnesses, and improve safety and health performance from the bottom-line up. Although there are various different types of programs available to follow, they are all based around three core common elements:
- Management leadership
- Worker participation
- Continual and systematic reviews
To assist organisations in developing their safety and health program, OSHA has provided some free, simple, ‘DIY’ steps and practical advice on how to integrate a health and safety programme, with information covering:
- Compliance assistance
- Consultation for small- and medium-sized businesses
- Educational materials
- Information for employers and workers on common workplace safety hazards and how to prevent illness and injury
Each state also has an ‘On-site Consultation Programme’ - a free and confidential safety and health consultation programme targeted toward smaller businesses in the main. Employers are able to discover potential hazards in their workplace and improve systems already in place or qualify for a one-year exemption from routine inspections.
Kim Stille went on to comment:
"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."
Find out more about the Safe and Sound Campaign over on the OSHA’s website.