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Safety Organization Says Work Injuries Have Decreased — But Still Have Long Way to Go

Safety Organization Says Work Injuries Have Decreased — But Still Have Long Way to Go

Best practices can help contractors stay safe, working, and profitable.

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), the world’s oldest professional safety organization, called on employers earlier this year to take well-known steps to protect America’s workers from fatal injuries. This was in in response to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released in early 2019 that reported while fatal occupational injuries decreased in 2017 for the first time in four years, the drop was minimal. There were 5,147 workplace deaths in the United States last year, down just 0.8 percent from the 2016 level of 5,190. The fatal injury rate per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers decreased from 3.6 to 3.5.

“This level of worker safety and health is not acceptable,” said ASSP President Rixio Medina, CSP, CPP. “There needs to be greater energy and a stronger national focus on preventing serious injuries and fatalities on the job. Most of these incidents are preventable, and they are occurring far too often in every industry.”

“Significant change is needed in workplace safety cultures to better protect workers and ensure that they return home to their families every day,” Median said.

While the 5,147 fatal occupational injuries in 2017 reflected a slight decrease from the previous year, the number is significantly higher than other years, such as the 4,551 worker deaths reported in 2009. Improvement may be anchored in the adoption of occupational safety and health management systems such as the new ISO 45001 global standard, greater implementation of managed fall protection programs, stronger fleet safety programs, and the use of proven risk assessment techniques.

“It’s really about bringing best practices into the spotlight at all companies in every industry, such as prevention through design and risk management approaches,” Medina said.  “We believe the proper implementation of a safety and health management system can help protect workers and improve a company’s bottom line. Then everybody wins."

The NACE International Institute also believes that best practices are key to reducing risks and improving safety. The NACE International Institute Contractor Accreditation Program, NIICAP, is guided on ISO-based standards from the world leader in corrosion control. It verifies a contractor’s ability to perform the best and latest in coatings preparation, application, and inspection techniques and practices.

NIICAP’s comprehensive auditing standards go beyond ensuring an aesthetically successful coatings job to one that not only improves asset performance and extend asset life but protects the health/safety of employees and the community at large.

The accreditation process includes assessing a contractor’s Health, Safety, and Environmental (HSE) processes and helps to benefit the entire industry by verifying a contractor’s ability and resources to efficiently manage hazardous waste removal/disposal; providing contractors a roadmap for enhanced HSE performance; and supporting a culture of HSE.

Excepted from coatingspromag.com/ Safety Industry News

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