Measuring Safety Part 3 – Serious Injury Prevention – S is for Subjective

Serious Injury Fatality

Serious Injury Prevention – S is for Subjective

In Measuring Safety Part, 1 we reviewed the drawbacks of focusing solely on the measurement of safety outcomes absent understanding and tracking operational processes and events that are predictive of a safe workplace. In Part 2 of the series, we dove deeper into the implications of this thinking by reviewing “Serious Injury Fatality” (SIF). In this Part 3, we look at the subjective nature of serious injury and fatality prevention recording and whether SIF is indeed the better approach to take.

Building a SIF Safety Triangle addresses previous serious safety prevention framework shortcomings, but it also introduces new issues. Our next question: Who decides upon the categorization of processes and events that have the potential for serious injury and fatality? Also, how is this categorization done?

It seems to be relatively easy to define some categories that separate SIF from the non-SIF … Read more...

Food safety worker injuries,Transporation Safety Board’s Lac Megantic report, Workplace safety in schools and more on EHS This Week!

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • Occupational injuries involving insects
  • US ranks among top 10 international food safety violators
  • The worst causes of injuries for food safety workers
  • Transportation Safety Board of Canada releases Lac Megantic report
  • Students organize workplace safety training

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you.

Until next week, enjoy the program!

EHS This Week Resources

For more information on the stories and resources mentioned in this week’s podcast, check out the links below.

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics report on occupational injuries involving insects. Read it here.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Hazards & Exposures. Read about preventing insect-related injuries here.
  • Analysis of International Food Safety

US Labor Department’s OSHA exposes safety and health hazards at construction sites through no-notice incident prevention campaign

This release has been reposted from

PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has concluded its 2012 “Construction Incident Prevention Initiative,” during which it issued 243 citations and assessed a total of $658,862 in proposed fines to companies on construction sites throughout the agency’s Philadelphia Region.

The four-month campaign included 545 no-notice inspections focused on falls, trenches and silica exposure. Fifty-nine percent of the inspections revealed violations, some of the most common of which are failing to use fall protection when working on roofs, ensure that scaffolds are constructed safely and protect trenches from collapse.

“This alarmingly high number of violations underscores the need for employers in the construction industry to make a stronger commitment to workplace safety and health,” said MaryAnn Garrahan, OSHA’s regional administrator in Philadelphia. “Employers are responsible for ensuring safe and healthful workplaces, and will be held legally accountable … Read more...

OSHA increases encouragement of whistleblower claims – what employers should know

On March 12 of this year OSHA issued a memorandum on “Employer Safety Incentive and Disincentive Policies & Practices” to address its increased focus on whistleblower enforcement.

With this growing focus on embracing the whistleblower, employers must now ensure that they provide employees an avenue for reporting workplace incidents free of any negative repercussions and recognize that OSHA considers “reporting an injury to always be a protected activity,” and will raise flags if employees are disciplined or terminated after doing so. Employers are encouraged to assess their current incident reporting procedures and ensure that OSHA will not deem them to “unduly burden the employee’s right and ability to report.”

To learn more about what can be expected from this change, check out Howard Mavity’s article, OSHA Formalizes Criticism of Employee Safety Incentive Programs, Increases Encouragement of Whistleblower Claims. Mavity is a senior partner with the Atlanta office and co-chair Read more...

OSHA releases I2P2 white paper to convince businesses of program’s benefit

If you managed to take a look at our list of our Top 5 most popular blog posts from 2011, you might have noticed that I2P2 is kind of a big deal. If, on the other hand, that acronym means nothing to you, now is a good time to get better acquainted with OSHA’s proposed Injury and Illness Prevention Program (get it? Two Is, two Ps…)

Anyway, OSHA has kicked off the New Year by reaffirming its commitment to I2P2 by releasing a white paper geared to convince businesses of the value of the program. For background, OSHA has been moving towards a requirement that would require most organizations in the U.S. to implement an injury and illness prevention program, which is essentially a safety management system (SMS) designed to proactively reduce injuries and illnesses.

In addition to outlining how I2P2 programs mitigate injuries and save lives, the paper breaks … Read more...

OHS injuries and illness in health care, safety in the wind industry and more on EHS This Week

Check out the most recent podcast of EHS This Week.

This week, Kristy Sadler and I discuss top stories from the world of environment, health and safety news, including 

  • The relationship between days away from work and OHS injuries and illnesses in the health care sector.
  • The unexpected number one reason for on the job injuries at the Tucson fire department.
  • Safety issues in the wind power industry, and more.

Check back on a weekly basis for our rundown of the week’s top EHS Stories.

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The Top 5 upcoming OHS regulatory events you need to know about: #1

It can be hard for businesses to determine which regulatory events will directly affect how they do business. That’s why I’ve put together a list of the Top 5 OHS regulatory events on the immediate horizon business leaders as well as OHS managers and staff need to know about.

Yesterday we talked about the revised hazard communication standard. Here’s the next issue in the Top 5:

1. The Injury and Illness Prevention Program:

OSHA chair Dr. David Michaels indicated in an online chat earlier this year that OSHA’s top priority for 2011 is publishing and enforcing a new, nationwide Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2).

The scope of the planned regulation is sweeping: it will likely affect every employer in every industry, coast-to-coast. Michaels himself has called it the most significant change in workplace safety culture since OSHA’s inception 40 years ago.

OSHA is expected to model the program …