Work Safety Topics
Nearly 13,000 American workers suffer an injury every day; each is preventable. Injury should never be a cost of doing business. Here are some of the workplace safety topics NSC is focusing on.
Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each day to reach peak performance, but nearly one-third report averaging less than six hours. The effects of fatigue are far-reaching and can have an adverse impact in all areas of our lives.
- Safety performance decreases as employees become tired
- You are three times more likely to be in a car crash if you are fatigued
- Chronic sleep-deprivation causes depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and other illnesses
Drug use at work is a safety topic that is gaining attention. Lost time, job turnover, re-training and healthcare costs are three of the primary implications of drug use regularly confronted by employers. The typical worker with a substance use disorder misses about two work weeks (10.5 days) for illness, injury or reasons other than vacations and holidays.
- Workers with substance use disorders miss 50% more days than their peers, averaging 14.8 days a year
- Workers with pain medication use disorders miss nearly three times as many days – 29 days
- Workers in recovery who report receiving substance use treatment miss the fewest days of any group – 9.5
Many employers have adopted safe driving policies that include bans on cell phone while driving and on the job. NSC has created a Safe Driving Kit with materials to build leadership support for a cell phone policy and tools to communicate with employees.
Every year, 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence. This violence fits into four categories: criminal intent, customer/client, worker-on-worker and personal relationship (most involving women).
The deadliest situations involve an active shooter.
Every organization needs to address workplace violence through policy, training and the development of emergency action plans. While there is no way to predict an attack, you can be aware of warning signals that might signal future violence.
You might be surprised to learn that falls account for the third-highest total unintentional deaths every year in the United States. Fatalities as a result of falls are surpassed only by poisoning (including deaths from drugs and medicines) and motor vehicle crashes.
Fall safety should be a top priority. Construction workers are at the most risk for fatal falls from height, but falls can happen anywhere, and it is important to recognize potential hazards, both on the job and off. Plan ahead and use the right equipment.
Overexertion causes 35% of all work-related injuries and is the No. 1 reason for lost work days. Regular exercise, stretching and strength training can prevent injury. Likewise, ergonomic assessments can ward off ergonomics injuries, often caused by excessive lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, reaching or stretching.
While employers are responsible for providing a safe work environment, employees can take steps to protect themselves at work. Paying attention is vitally important for those operating machinery as well as those working around power tools and motor vehicles.