How Risk Management Can Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls

Graphic of a frontline worker putting away a cable that could trip someone in the workplace

Fall protection solutions are essential to keep workers safe and ensure productivity. In 2020, the National Safety Council reported 127,680 work-related injuries that required days away from work. These are preventable injuries that are emotionally and financially debilitating for workers, and result in a financial loss for organizations and the wider economy.

In Part I of this series, Scott Gaddis, looks at how falls on the same level happen in the workplace and the impact they can have on workers. In Part II here, Scott examines the role of risk assessments in helping to prevent slips, trips and falls. Part III examines how hierarchy of controls can contribute to continuous safety improvement in fall prevention.

Risk Assessment to Prevent Falls on the Same Level

The objective of risk assessment and analysis is to understand the level of risk associated with the hazards found in the work environment as well as … Read more...

Why Slips, Trips and Falls Continue to Cause Serious Workplace Incidents

Graphic of a frontline worker slipping in a warehouse

Slips, trips and falls, or falls that happen on the same level, can be some of the most debilitating and expensive injuries workers will suffer and contribute to 700 worker fatalities each year. It is particularly hazardous in the construction industry, accounting for 378 of the 986 construction fatalities recorded in 2021. To address this concern, the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction is held each year to encourage employers to stand down from work and discuss workplace hazards relating to trips, falls or other job safety concerns.

In this three-part series dedicated to walking-working surfaces, Scott Gaddis—Vice President, Global Practice Leader, Safety and Health at Intelex Technologies, ULC—provides his expert insight into the risks associated with pedestrian safety in the workplace and what employers need to do to mitigate them. Part I below looks at common types of slips, trips and falls and how they occur. Part Read more...

Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries: One U.S. Worker Died Every 101 Minutes in 2021

In 2021, 5,190 workers suffered fatal work injuries, equating to one worker death in the U.S. every 101 minutes.

In 2021, there were 5,190 work-related deaths in the United States, a. 8.9 percent increase from 2020. The fatal work injury rate was 3.6 fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, up from 3.4 per 100,000 FTE in 2020 and up from the 2019 pre-pandemic rate of 3.5. The 3.6 fatal occupational injury rate in 2021 represents the highest annual rate since 2016.  

The increase of nearly 9 percent in fatal work injuries “serves as call to action for OSHA, employers and other stakeholders to redouble our collective efforts to make our nation’s workplaces safer,” the U.S. Department of Labor’s Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker.

“In 2021, 5,190 workers suffered fatal work injuries, equating to one worker death in the U.S. every 101 minutes, including 653 Black … Read more...

Should You Be Contesting That OSHA Citation?

Going down the road of litigation isn’t always the right path to take when your organization is on the receiving end of an OSHA citation.

Your company has just been cited for a safety violation or workplace incident by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). What should you do now?

You have 15 days to respond and according to John Ho, the co-chair of the OSHA workplace safety practice at international law firm Cozen O’Connor, contesting an OSHA citation shouldn’t necessarily be your automatic response. There are many factors to consider when determining a course of action, he says, explaining that a decision should weigh issues that may have significantly greater liabilities than the actual OSHA penalties imposed.  

“Lawyers are expensive and usually you’re going to spend more money on litigation, even if you win,” Ho says. “To fight a $30,000 to $50,000 OSHA (fine) – the cost/benefit … Read more...

Why Human Error Isn’t to Blame: Understanding Variability in EHS Systems 

Scapegoating workers and accepting the limitations of human judgement does nothing to reduce injury and fatality rates or to improve the efficiency of the EHS management system.

When we say that human error was responsible for an incident, it’s tempting to be comforted by the idea that one person’s poor judgement was to blame. If that person was doing something they shouldn’t have been doing, that seems to be a fairly obvious root cause that couldn’t be anticipated and doesn’t reflect the overall integrity of the management system, leadership or workplace. “Humans will always make mistakes,” we might tell ourselves, “and you can’t make a system foolproof when humans are involved.”  

Yet scapegoating workers and accepting the limitations of human judgement does nothing to reduce injury and fatality rates or to improve the efficiency of the EHS management system. People operate within the constraints provided by the culture and management … Read more...

ESG Reporting and EHS Management at Day 2 of the Intelex User Conference 

Day Two of the Intelex User Conference in Nashville on Nov. 4 continued the discussions about the current state of EHS management, the growing role of ESG reporting and how best to support the frontline worker.

With experts from various industries in every breakout session, the discussions were rich with insights into how Intelex and its partners can continue to foster the innovation customers need to keep workers safe on the job and create a sustainable future for everyone. 

Managing an OSHA Inspection

When an incident happens in the workplace, an OSHA inspection frequently follows. 60 percent of inspections take place in construction, manufacturing, retail and health care, while almost 40 percent of all OSHA inspections are at organizations with fewer than nine employees.  

While your organization and OSHA both have the goal of keeping workers safe and ensuring the continuous improvement of the safety management system, it’s important to … Read more...

Great Ideas to Ignite Your Organization’s EHS Passion

Seasoned safety pros and newly-appointed novices can benefit from these great tips for becoming a better EHS leader.

William Gibson, a safety specialist for Ohio-based Del-Co Water Company Inc., admits he’s far from being the most seasoned environment, health and safety (EHS) professional. But he is passionate about people and a keen observer who has taken the best ideas from safety veterans he’s encountered and applied those learnings to his own professional journey.

Gibson says he stepped out of his comfort zone to become a safety manager in 2017 when his company called out for someone to manage safety for the growing organization. During a recent presentation at the EHS Today Safety Leadership Conference, he shared many of the great lessons learned during his relatively short five-year career as an EHS professional and outlined what he believes are the building blocks of a great safety program and the key elements … Read more...

Intelex30: How ESG Reporting and EHS Management Systems are Responding to a Changing World 

Some organizations will face the reality that spreadsheets and manual methods for collecting data will not be able to keep up with the requirements of ESG reporting and EHS management.

The world has changed a lot over the last three years. In many ways, it’s become more unpredictable, with supply chain disruption, economic concerns and geopolitical volatility becoming part of our daily existence. Yet through it all, frontline workers are there to keep the machinery of the global economic engine moving, so keeping them safe while improving the way they work has never been more important.  

With that in mind, the Intelex User Conference returned in Nashville, Tennessee from November 3-4. For two days at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, we met with customers, partners and industry experts to dig into the present and future developments of EHS to see how we can support the needs of frontline workers everywhere. Since … Read more...

ESG’s Growing Importance Will Draw Upon EHS Leadership

Survey results show intrinsic links between the two practices of ESG and EHS with both areas sharing many common concerns and similar objectives.

The role played by environment, health and safety (EHS) in the development and execution of environmental social and governance (ESG) strategies may depend on who you ask.

A recent Safety + Health Magazine webinar highlighted 2022 research from Vance and Bourne conducted on behalf of Intelex and shed light on how EHS and ESG leadership professionals are dealing with their evolving mutual challenges. The resulting report – Big Ambitions. Complex Data. Limited Visibility – analyzes a survey of 450 professionals who occupy EHS and ESG leadership roles in North American public and private organizations representing 17 business sectors. 

Survey results show intrinsic links between the two practices with both areas sharing many common concerns and similar objectives. During the webinar it was revealed that a vast majority … Read more...

The Everyday Work of ESG Reporting

Many have no idea where to start when it comes to ESG reporting responsibilities. Here are a few ideas to help get you moving in the right direction.

Environment, social and governance (ESG) principles have become a monolithic presence in the strategic thinking of today’s organizations. Consumer demands, investor concerns and mandatory regulatory reporting have taken ESG from the vague public relations exercises of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to the rigorous reporting requirements coming into force in many jurisdictions around the world. 

One of the difficult things about monoliths is that it can be tricky to get a handle on them. Their sheer size and complexity can be overwhelming for those who are not used to dealing with them. ESG is a monolith that has arisen relatively quickly to become a critical concern for organizational leadership. If you’re confronting the reality of having new ESG reporting responsibilities and you have … Read more...