Occupational safety and health remains a key consideration for U.S. employers, since each year nearly 5,000 employees die as a result of workplace injuries, while roughly 6 million workers suffer non ‐ fatal workplace injuries, at an annual cost to U.S. businesses of more than $125 billion. [1,2]
Every business has safety risks. Occupational safety deals with all aspects of physical, mental and social health and safety in a workplace. It is the umbrella for company’s efforts to prevent injuries and hazards in all work environments. Every industry presents various kinds of safety hazards to its employees.
The OSHA General Duty Clause
Know Your Rights! Under federal law, you are entitled to a safe workplace.
Under the OSH Act, employers must comply with specific standards promulgated by OSHA, as set forth in Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (29 CFR). In addition, employers have an even broader duty to keep their workers safe.
Under the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act (Section 5(a)), employers must “furnish to each of [their] employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees” — even if no specific OSHA standard addresses a particular identified workplace risk.
About the Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) Yearbook
Each year on Labor Day since 2012, The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety is published.
This year’s 2018 Report, which spans August 2017 through July 2018, documents some of the most notable events, legislation, news stories, and research of the last year. This year’s yearbook has five sections:
- Activities at the federal level, including those involving OSHA and EPA;
- Activities at the state and local level, including campaigns and events by COSH groups;
- News coverage on OHS issues by national and regional reporters, including the Me Too movement;
- Research on OHS topics published in the peer-reviewed literature and by labor rights organizations; and
- A bibliography of the picks for the 60 best papers from the peer-reviewed literature published in the last 12 months.
- Required by some states and companies in order to start employment.
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Why get OSHA safety training?
OSHA Outreach Training provides instruction and training on the recognition, avoidance, abatement, and prevention of workplace hazards. The OSHA Training Program also provides an overview of OSHA, regarding workers’ rights, employer responsibilities, and how to file a complaint.
As an employer, don’t think health and safety training is expensive and wasteful. Health and safety training educates your workers to work safely and motivates them to be more productive… which is a profit in itself. Employers will find that implementing safety practices brings many benefits – such as:
- Preventing workplace injuries and illnesses;
- Improving compliance with laws and regulations;
- Reducing costs, including significant reductions in workers’ compensation premiums;
- Engaging workers;
- Increasing productivity and enhance overall business operations.
Employer Reasons for a Workplace Health and Safety Program
Here are a few reasons why you should give strong consideration to a health and safety training program:
- All Workplaces Have an Element of Risk – From manually handling packages to driving heavy machinery, there are different levels of exposure to risk and illness.
- Increases Staff Productivity – Employees in many ways are like customers, treat them well and they stay, treat them well and they feel valued and treat your customers well in turn.
- Reduces Frequency of Compensation Claim or Lawsuit – It only takes one serious injury to bring a worker’s compensation claim or lawsuit. Safety training can diminish the frequency.
- Enhances Company Image Positively – Workers want to know what they stand to gain from a company in regards their benefits and salaries, but they also want to know your plan for their health and safety.
- Reduces Costs – Apart from the cost that will be accrued by litigation costs, fines and compensation payments, actual injuries and incidents can rack up direct costs in, medical expenses such as ambulance, hospital, and doctors’ fees, medication, and rehabilitation. There could even be increases in insurance premiums as a result. Likewise, indirect costs could include disrupted work schedules, lost productivity, clean-up and repair, hiring and training replacement workers, bad publicity, time spent on accident investigation and claims management.
As an employer, don’t think health and safety training is expensive and wasteful. Health and safety training educates your workers to work safely and motivates them to be more productive… which is a profit in itself.
Other Year OHS Yearbooks
Beginning on Labor Day 2012, yearbooks have been published on U.S. occupational health and safety. Here are the links to each year’s report:
- The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety, Fall 2017 to Summer 2018 (published Labor Day 2018)
- The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety, Fall 2016 to Summer 2017 (published Labor Day 2017)
- The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety, Fall 2015 to Summer 2016 (published Labor Day 2016)
- The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety, Fall 2014 to Summer 2015 (published Labor Day 2015)
- The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety, Fall 2013 to Summer 2014 (published Labor Day 2014)
- The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety, Fall 2012 to Summer 2013 (published Labor Day 2013)
- The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety, Fall 2011 to Summer 2012 (published Labor Day 2012)
- US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fatal Occupational Injuries in the United States, 2013 . Available at: http://www.bls.gov/iif/o shwc/cfoi/cftb0277.pdf.
- US Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Safety and Health Fact Sheet . 2002. Available at: https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_G eneral_Facts/jobsafetyandhealth ‐ factsheet.html.