I’m always excited when a new employee starts at Arbill. We plan in advance to welcome the employee and make sure he/she meets with key people and learns the ropes from our experienced staff. It’s also important that all new employees -- in every area of the company --understands from day one that we are a safety company. Nothing is more important than keeping workers safe.
As the leading supplier of safety training, programs, technology and Personal Protective Equipment, Arbill Safety Experts are often asked about fatal injuries in the workplace. Maybe it is a morbid curiosity or perhaps people just want to be reminded that the absolute worst can and does happen on the job.
Of course, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) reports on injuries, fatalities, illnesses and more throughout the year, so this information is available and should be shared.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) was established in 1970 "to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance." For OSHA to succeed in this mission, companies must be in compliance with its safety standards.
Failing to be in compliance and violating these standards can be very costly to the lives of your employees and the livelihood of your business. This past August, the cost for workplace safety violations increased by 78%, which marks the first time the rate has increased since 1990. The current maximum penalty of $7,000 for serious, other-than-serious and posting requirements increased to $12,471 per violation and repeated violations increased from $70,000 to $124,709 per violation.
Every year in the United States, workplace electrical incidents result in more than 300 deaths and 3,500 injuries. While electrical hazards are not the leading cause of on-the-job injuries and fatalities, they are disproportionately fatal and costly with 1 in 13 electrical injuries resulting in death.
According to OSHA, electrical incidents cause an average of 13 days away from work and nearly one fatality every day. Electrical incidents rank 6th among all causes of work related deaths in the U.S. Over the past decade, 46,000 workers were injured from on the job electrical hazards and a worker is severely hurt every 30 minutes from electricity.
Electrocution is not the only injury employees can get from electrical hazards. Additional injuries include burns, hearing loss, lacerations and other health issues. An especially dangerous event is what’s called an Arc Flash. An arc flash is the light and heat produced by an electric arc supplied with sufficient electrical energy to cause substantial damage, harm, fire, or injury. Electrical arcs experience negative resistance, which causes the electrical resistance to decrease as the arc temperature increases.
According to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the most disabling, nonfatal workplace injuries amounted to nearly $62 billion in direct U.S. workers’ compensation costs. This translates into more than a billion dollars a week spent by businesses on these injuries.
Under a final rule that becomes effective January 1, 2017, OSHA will revise its requirements for recording and submitting records of workplace injuries and illnesses. This new rule will require some of this recorded information to be submitted to OSHA electronically for posting to the OSHA website.
In previous years, groups have argued that OSHA’s penalties for violations were not high enough to effectively deter violations. These groups proposed that if fines were higher, businesses would be less likely to commit violations.
Since our founding in 1945, Arbill has been and continues to be a leader in workplace safety. As the leading provider of safety services, safety technology and safety products, Arbill is literally saving lives every day at industrial worksites throughout the United States.