Falls from heights and elevated surfaces continue to be a driver in workers’ compensation costs across the United States. Now is the time for employers and other interested stakeholders to take a stand against falls. It will not only reduce workers’ compensation program costs but increase morale within the workplace.
A Case Study in Preventable Workplace Falls
Falls within the workplace continue to be the leading cause of workplace deaths despite improvements and availability of cost-effective safety equipment. This is mainly prevalent in the construction industry where workers engage in daily activities in a variety of settings and conditions. This includes smaller residential construction projects, which account for a disproportionally high number of catastrophic workers’ compensation claims. Preventing these incidents all starts with a proactive contractor dedicated to improving the safety on their job site.
Preventing falls from heights and elevated surfaces can be prevented by simple strategies:
- Advance planning that includes understanding the job site and unique conditions employees might face when performing their work activities;
- Making sure all employees and others on a construction site have the necessary safety equipment. This includes making sure the equipment is properly working and free from defect; and
- Providing the necessary training on how to correctly use the safety equipment used in the workplace. A surprising number of work injuries and deaths occur when this equipment is not correctly used by employees.
Communication is Key!
The first step in preventing falls in the workplace is communication. When it comes to workplace safety and a known safety risk, interested stakeholders can never communicate to its workforce enough. This communication must also be effective. Steps contractors can take should include:
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By WorkersCompensation.com | February 1, 2017
Raleigh,NC – Falls and struck-by incidents continue to cause the largest number of work-related deaths statewide based on preliminary information released today by the state Department of Labor. Struck-by incidents accounted for the most work-related deaths with 19, while falls accounted for 12 deaths.
The department’s Occupational Safety and Health Division inspected 48 work-related deaths last year.
“Year after year, we see falls and struck-by incidents take the lives of too many workers,” Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said. “Falls and struck-bys are especially troubling because we know nearly all these types of workplace accidents can be prevented when proper safety training is coupled with the proper use of personal protective equipment. Seven of last year’s construction deaths involved a fall from a roof. We never lose sight of the fact that these are human lives lost at work, and I take each one personally. These were someone’s husband or wife, mother or father, brother or sister, son or daughter, and in some cases grandparent. They were best friends and co-workers at an average age of 42 years old.”
The OSH Division tracks work-related deaths that fall within its jurisdictional authority so it can pinpoint where fatalities are occurring and place special emphasis on counties or regions where deaths on the job are happening. By tracking fatalities in real time, the department can also notify particular industries of any concerning patterns or trends identified and issue hazard alerts to warn industry. Continue reading Falls & Struck By Incidents Lead Work Related Deaths
Sacramento, CA – Two newly signed laws will build upon California’s workers’ compensation reforms by addressing two critical issues—reducing treatment delays for injured workers and rooting out provider fraud and illegitimate liens.
Governor Brown signed SB 1160 (Mendoza) and AB 1244 (Gray and Daly), which build on the 2012 workers’ compensation reforms designed to increase benefits and improve medical care for injured workers, and to control costs for employers.
“Expedited and appropriate treatment in the critical first month of injury encourages the best outcome for injured workers and employers,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). “In reforming the utilization review process used to contest care to injured workers and tightening controls on fraud, these new laws further the treatment and savings goals initiated by the Governor and the Legislature in 2012.”
SB 1160 reduces most utilization review in the first 30 days following a work-related injury. It also mandates electronic reporting of utilization review data by claims administrators to the Division of Workers’ Compensation, which will enable the division to monitor claim processes and address problems.
Continue reading New Workers’ Compensation Laws Will Reduce Treatment Delays and Fraud
August 24, 2016 by Michael B. Stack
A common source of accidents in almost any work environment is the slip, trip, and fall. All three types of accidents have the same result where the employee’s feet leave and land on the floor or other surface.
Often there is a combination of slip and fall or of trip and fall. The fortunate employee who trips and falls receives a few bruises. The unlucky employee receives one or more fractured bones, torn ligaments, or other soft tissue injury.
The fact is most slips, trips, and falls can be prevented through a combination of proper risk management by the employer and proper training of the employee on how to avoid accidents. The employer can reduce or eliminate most of the accidents involving slips, trips and falls by using the following guidelines:
1) Using the most appropriate flooring materials
The flooring material chosen should not be selected based solely on cost or aesthetic issues. The flooring surface should be smooth, but not slippery. There ARE standards for the safest co-efficient of friction on surfaces, so make sure your surfaces meet these standards. It should not have joints, ridges or edges that are one fourth inch in height or greater. Any greater elevation changes than this present the opportunity for tripping.
Continue reading 7 Ways to Prevent Slips, Trips, and Falls
By WorkersCompensation.com 06/27/2016
Washington, DC – In 2014, 67 percent of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses occurred during the hours of 8:01 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Of the injuries and illnesses during these hours, 331,390 occurred in morning hours, and 249,890 occurred in the afternoon.
During most times of the day or night, overexertion involving outside sources is the most common cause of workplace injuries or illnesses for which people miss work to recuperate. During the early morning hours of 4:01 to 8:00, falls to the same level were also a leading cause of workplace injuries or illnesses.
During the nighttime hours of midnight to 8:00 a.m., 16 percent of workplace injuries or illnesses occurred. Intentional injury by a person makes up 4 percent of the injuries or illnesses between the hours of midnight and 4:00 a.m.
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Travelers Injury Impact Report Details Most Frequent Workplace Accidents
Hartford, CT –
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), the country’s largest workers compensation carrier, today released its Injury Impact Report, which identifies the most common causes of workplace accidents and injuries.
The company analyzed more than 1.5 million workers compensation claims filed between 2010 and 2014 from a variety of business sizes and industries.
This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160516005965/en/
Travelers Outlines Most Common Workplace Injuries:
• Material handling (32 percent of total claims);
• Slips, trips and falls (16 percent);
• Being struck by or colliding with an object (10 percent);
• Accidents involving tools (7 percent); and
• Traumas occurring over time, for example when a part of the body is injured by overuse or strain (4 percent).
The above incidents most often resulted in strains, sprains, cuts, punctures, contusions, inflammation, fractures or chronic sicknesses resulting from a type of work (e.g., a skin disease caused by chemical exposure).
Continue reading Top 5 Workplace Accidents