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...

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...

The Hidden Benefits of Document Control Software

There are a multitude of hidden benefits that an organization can enjoy when document management becomes a part of their operations.

A knock on the door from an OSHA or FDA official is usually enough to send the average EHS manager into at least a mild panic. That sound usually means a dreaded regulatory inspection is upon them, bringing with it nightmarish visions of hefty fines, shutdown orders or costly reputational damages to the organization. 

Some of these managers, however, tend to accept the predicament with considerably more calm and confidence than others. That’s because they know that when their uninvited guests inevitably ask to see documented proof that procedures were properly followed and regulations were adhered to, they will be able to produce that documentation in a quick and efficient manner. 

They will be able to do so because they will have been using document control software as part … Read more...

Falls Top the OSHA Top 10 List of Safety Violations for More than a Decade

OSHA revealed the Top 10 safety violations for fiscal year 2021 at the NSC Safety Congress & Expo and once again, falls top the list.
OSHA revealed the Top 10 safety violations for fiscal year 2021 at the NSC Safety
Congress & Expo and once again, falls top the list.

One of the most highly anticipated events at every NSC Safety Congress & Expo is the announcement of the list of top safety violations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). On Oct. 12, OSHA announced its preliminary Top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety standards for fiscal year 2021 and for the 11th year, falls topped the list.

Kevin Druley, the associate editor of Safety+Health magazine, introduced Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, who presented the list virtually during the 2021 NSC Safety Congress & Expo, the world’s largest annual gathering of safety professionals.

Scott Gaddis, Vice President, Global Practice Leader – Safety and Health at Intelex Technologies Inc., joins David Wagner from Industrial Scientific to discuss “Why Read more...

Here’s How ESG Will Further the Cause of EHS

ESG will further the cause of EHSQ
No doubt most EHS professionals would rightly declare the work they’ve been doing has aligned with many ESG principles all along.

Ever-growing interest by financial investors and consumers in companies that do the right things for people and the planet by adhering to the guiding principles of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria is great news for Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) concerns.

What does one have to do with the other?

EHS has long been positioned as a cost avoidance function to protect company profits through protection programming. But with growing interest by businesses and their efforts to align with ESG, the one will most definitely help the other. 

“With ESG, there’s a triple bottom line: profit, people, and the planet that will be demanded not only by the internal stakeholder, but the consumer and those looking to invest as shareholders,” says Intelex Vice-President of Health and Safety, Scott Read more...

Defining and Overcoming Cultural Barriers to EHS Data Collection

Lowering the cultural barriers to EHS data collection is critical if you want your organizations to make data driven decisions to improve workplace safety.
Lowering the cultural barriers to EHS data collection is critical if you want your organizations to make data driven decisions to improve workplace safety.

Culture is a word that is commonly used at most companies and building a safety culture is often a focus of EHS professionals. However, a specific focus on lowering the cultural barriers to data collection can have a huge impact on the greater safety culture and help embed safety in everyday operations.

In a recent poll, we asked EHS professionals: What is your biggest barrier to collecting accurate EHS data? The clear winner was “cultural barriers to data entry” followed by “training of data collectors,” which received 39% and 30% of the vote respectively. Lowering the cultural barriers to data entry is critical if you want to collect quality, honest and timely data to make better data driven decisions. So, how can we lower the cultural … Read more...

Work-Related Stress: Every Working Day, 2 Construction Workers in UK, Ireland Die from Suicide

Work-related stress can aggravate an existing mental health problem, making it more difficult to control

Stress, depression or anxiety account for 51% of all work-related ill health cases and 55% of all working days lost due to work-related ill health in the UK. Stress impacts on all sectors and businesses of all sizes.

Perhaps one of the hardest hit occupations is construction. A new short film, “On the Edge,” from AKT Productions and Ambanja Films, depicts a construction worker who is on the edge, literally and figuratively. Suffering from both depression due to family concerns and work-related stress, he contemplates taking his own life.

Major contractors BAM provided a construction site in Whitechapel, London, as a film location and also consulted on the project. The film was supported by the Lighthouse Club charity, which provides emotional, physical and financial support to construction workers and their families.

“It was just a ‘good timing’ moment because AKT had the skillset, ideas and same desire to raise … Read more...

Labor Rights Week 2021: Building a Future that Empowers all Workers

Labor Rights Week empowers workers

This year, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is recognizing Labor Rights Week from Aug. 30 to Sept. 3, 2021.

“Many immigrant workers have performed essential duties throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” write Jim Frederick, acting assistant secretary for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and Jessica Looman, acting administrator for DOL’s Wage and Hour Division in a DOL blog. “It is important that they have meaningful access to information about their rights as they work diligently during these challenging times. It’s also important that employers understand their responsibilities and meet their obligations. We are committed to working together through education and compliance assistance.”

During Labor Rights Week, Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, DOL is hoping to get the word out that ALL workers have the same right to a safe workplace and fair pay, as well as the right to report possible violations without retaliation. That’s because … Read more...

6 Tips to Help Avoid Workplace Injuries

If you want to decrease workplace injuries, ensure everyone has the proper safety training relating to the hazards of the job.

Accidents are unplanned occurrences that result in injuries, illness, death and loss of property and/or production. By managing risk and implementing a safety management system, injuries, illnesses and workplace incidents can be reduced and even eliminated.

  1. Know the Hazards
  • Be aware of surroundings.  Look around and identify workplace hazards that could cause harm.
  • Implement strategies to reduce or eliminate hazards.
  • Report unsafe areas or practices.
  • Dress for the weather.
  • Use the EHS job hazard analysis tools to identify hazards associated with job types.

2. Create a Safe Work Area

  • Keep an orderly workplace.  Poor housekeeping can cause serious health and safety hazards. The layout of the workplace should have adequate egress routes and be free of debris. 
  • Inspect vehicles before and after use. DRIVE SAFELY.
  • Continually cultivate a
Read more...

142 Workers Were Killed at Work in Great Britain in 2020/21

Provisional data released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) shows that a total of 142 workers were killed at work in Great Britain in 2020/21, an increase of 29 from the previous year, though the number of deaths in 2019/20 (113) was low compared to recent years.

In statistical terms, the number of fatalities has remained broadly level in recent years – the average annual number of workers killed at work over the five years 2016/17-2020/21 is 136. The fatality numbers released by HSE relate to workplace incidents. They do not include deaths arising from occupational exposure to disease, including Covid-19.

Over the past 20 years there has been a long-term reduction in the number of workplace fatalities, demonstrating that Great Britain is one of the safest places to work in the world.

“Whilst the working world in which we now live has created new health challenges for workers … Read more...